Father of two men killed in rioting says 'yobs' ruining UK
Published 11/08/2011 | 05:00
The father of two brothers who were killed amid rioting in Birmingham claimed yesterday that "yobs" were ruining Britain.
Shazad Ali (30) and Abdul Masavir (31) were killed when a car ploughed into them while they were out trying to prevent their shops and properties from being looted.
The brothers were part of an 80-strong group who were standing near a mosque "protecting their community" from looters and rioters when a car raced up the road, mounted a kerb and ploughed into them, killing them instantly.
Haroon Jahan (21), a car mechanic, was also killed.
Shazad Ali, who ran his own car valeting firm, was recently married and his wife, Khansa Ali, was four months pregnant. Mr Masavir was a part-time pizza delivery man.
Ghazanfar Ali (66), father of the brothers, said: "This used to be a good country, a fair country, now it's getting like the Third World, there is no respect for the law.
"I used to rely on justice but there is no justice any more.
"These yobs are just ignoring the law, they are just ruining the country, ruining where they live, rubbishing their own country."
Tariq Jahan (45) found his son Haroon, dying in the street and attempted to save his life. Yesterday he warned the Asian and black communities to avoid becoming embroiled in race riots that have previously scarred the city.
After police arrested a black man allegedly driving the car, fears of racial tensions already simmering between the two communities threatened to explode with talk of retribution and revenge attacks.
Mr Jahan appealed for calm last night. He said: "Tensions are already high in the area. I don't want the community to fall out. The community doesn't need this, and my family doesn't need this.
"I want the law to take its course; let the law deal with it."
His comments were echoed by the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Chris Sims, who drafted in more than 1,000 officers as he sought to prevent a third night of rioting in the West Midlands.
Mr Sims said he was aware that the incident, shortly after 1am yesterday morning, gave the riots, which up until now had concentrated on looting in mostly commercial areas, a "new dimension" of race.
He said it was vital to address the perception of racial tensions between the communities and called on community leaders to restore calm.
"Like everyone else in Birmingham, my concern now will be that this single incident doesn't lead to a much wider and more general level of distrust, and even worse, violence, between different communities," he said.
"At these difficult times, people across all our communities must trust the police to protect them."
Urging parents to keep their children indoors, he added: "There is no reason for groups of people to be out on the street."
Witnesses described how the three men were thrown "as high as a lamppost" as the car sped off from the incident outside a Jet petrol station in Dudley Road, Winson Green.
Moments earlier several cars had been driving up and down the road and people attempted to break into shops and the petrol station.
As one car was set on fire, locals took to the streets to prevent further violence and protect their properties.
Tariq Jahan said he was standing outside his house around the corner when he heard the car approach at high speed and the collision.
He said: "I heard the thud and ran around. I saw the commotion and ran over; my instinct was to help the three people.
"I went to the first person I came across, who I didn't recognise, and started giving him CPR.
"Somebody pointed out that the guy behind me was my son on the floor. Then I swapped places and started giving him CPR.
"My hands were covered in blood, there was so much blood.
"The guy drove into three innocent guys who were just trying to look out for and protect their community from looters. Why?
"Haroon was just trying to help people and now he has been killed. Everybody knew him and he was well liked. We miss him deeply, I miss him deeply."
Tariq Hussain (48) who saw the attack, said: "The three boys had just come out of evening prayers at the mosque and there were black gangs in three or four cars driving very fast.
"The black gangs were provoking everyone, shouting 'we will burn you' and setting fire to cars.
"They had come to protect their community because Asian businesses have been targeted for two nights straight.
"The car hit all three of them and sent them up like tennis balls, they went as high as a lamppost."
Last night, a large crowd built up at the scene, which remained cordoned off by police.
The brothers' cousin Sobia Nazia told how their mother, Ruqaya Begum (55), had begged her only surviving son, Abdul Quddoos (33), not to avenge his brothers' murders.
She said: 'I don't expect any retaliation, you are all I've left now, I don't want you to do anything'.
"He replied: 'No, I won't but I won't be able to stop everyone else -- they are infuriated and they are angry'."
There is a history of tension between the two communities, which stretches back to the Handsworth riots of the early 1980s.
More recently, in 2005, during two nights of riots in Lozells, an innocent bystander Isiah Young-Sam, was stabbed to death. (© Daily Telegraph, London)