The Muslim Council of Britain demanded an explanation yesterday, after the police shooting of an Asian man at Stockwell Tube station in south London. The Council expressed concerns that there is a “shoot to kill” policy in operation, after the man was shot five times as he fled from the police. MCB spokesman Inayat Bunglawala warned that Muslims he had spoken to are now “jumpy and nervous.”
“It’s vital that the police give a statement about what occurred and explain why the man was shot dead,” he said. “There may well be reasons why the police felt it necessary to unload five shots into the man and shoot him dead but they need to make those reasons clear.
“We are getting phone calls from quite a lot of Muslims who are distressed about what may be a shoot to kill policy,” noted Mr Bunglawala.
A Stop the War Coalition spokesman agreed, saying: “We want to know what the rules of engagement of the police are. It is very reminiscent of the situation in Iraq where people are routinely shot dead.”
Bradford University terrorism expert Professor Paul Rogers noted that “the kind of tactics that the Met appears to have used are similar to the very tough tactics that the Israelis use against suspected suicide bombers. “To be blunt, they go for a head shot,” he said.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair claimed that the shooting was “directly linked” to anti-terror operations, although the publication of four pictures of people suspected of Thursday’s attempted attacks seemed to show that the dead man was not one of them.
Morning Star, 23 July 2005