Wednesday, October 28

Hate Crimes And Media Trials Against Muslim: Minority Panel Issues Two Notices To Delhi Police

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New Delhi, April 9, KNT: Delhi Minorities Commission has sent two notices to the Police Commissioner Delhi. One is about plans to boycott Muslims in a Shastri Nagar colony and the other is about lynching of a Muslim youth in a village under Bawana police station.

    The Commission in its notice attached a video from Shastri Nagar in Delhi which was shot on or around 5 April 2020. In it, a group of people are seen holding a meeting on the street in violation of the current Covid-19 restrictions. They are planning to stop Muslims from entering their colony and asking people in other colonies to do the same. Some faces and the area are very clear and visible.

    The Commission in a statement to Kashmir News Trust said in its notice that this gathering in the video attracts action under IPC Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc) and 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration).

   The Commission further said in its notice that the people seen in the meeting are also in violation of Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act for holding this meeting as it is in violation of the current lockdown order.

     In the video the group is seen giving an instant example when they stop two fruit/vegetable vendors from entering their colony and threaten them of dire consequences if they enter without their Aadhar cards to show that they are not Muslims.

     In another notice, Delhi Minorities Commission informed the Delhi Police Commissioner that as a result of media trial and inaction of the concerned authorities, hate crimes are becoming common in Delhi. The latest example of this is a video circulating on social media since 6 April. In it we see a Muslsim youth being ruthlessly beaten by some people in a rural setting. Commission’s enquiries established that the incident pertains to village Harewali under PS Bawana Industrial Area, North West Delhi district. The victim is a young man called Mahboob who by profession is tractor driver. In some reports he is mentioned as Dilshad. Along with another youth from the nearby Qutubgarh village, he had gone to a Tablighi conference in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. On his return, he was dropped at his village by a police party on 5 April, 2020. But Jat villagers did not allow him to enter the village. They cornered him in a field and started beating him with chappals, lathis and sticks, injuring him seriously, breaking his arms while his family members watched helplessly. The attackers are said to include some government servants.

   The notice further said that when the attackers saw that Mahboob was about to collapse and die, they called an ambulance and faked a story that Mahboob was hit in a road accident. The victim was taken to some hospital which referred him to Ambedkar Hospital in Rohini which too referred him to yet another hospital. Until 7 April, he was said to be in critical condition and was guarded by two-three of his assailants so that he does not say anything implicating them. There is pressure on Mahboob’s family to enter into a compromise and not press the issue.

    The notice further said that the attackers of Mahboob culled information from him during the beating that the other youth who went with him to Bhopal was Noor Mohammad son of Mahavir [Muslim who changed him name out of fear in 1947] from Qutubgarh. The attackers phoned their acquaintances in Qutubgarh and there too Noor Mohammad was thrashed.

The notice brought to the notice of the Police Commissioner that Jats are telling the small Muslim minority in the two villages (Harewali and Qutubgarh) that from now on they must live according to Hindu customs; otherwise they will be thrown out of the villages. They dragged Mukhtiar Singh [Muslim who changed his name in 1947] to a temple and forced him to commit that from now on he will not bury his dead and will live like a Hindu. Muslims in these two villages have been warned that they will be crushed and thrown out of the village if they complain to the police.

     The notice further said that an attempt was made on 6 April to assault the Imam of Bawana’s Chowk Masjid, Maulana Muhammad Ayyub, and ransack his house, but timely intervention of police saved him. In the Bawana JJ Colony an unsuccessful attempt was made to storm a mosque.

The Commission further informed the Police Commissioner that on Holambi Kalan roads, Muslims wearing kurta-pyjama and sporting beards are annoyed and taunted.

    The Commission added in its notice that “it is clear from the above that the small Muslim minority in the North-West district in particular is having a difficult time at present. They need reassurance from your side while miscreants must be dealt with firmly to send a message that such behavior will not be tolerated.”

    The Commission asked the Police Commissioner to order appropriate action against the group responsible for the attack on Mahboob in Harewali village and to ensure his satisfactory treatment and filing of appropriate FIR against the culprits; and attackers on Noor Muhammad in Qutubgarh village too should be similarly treated; while redouble visible police presence in the area to send a strong message that any messing up with law and order will not be tolerated.

   The Commission has asked the Police Commissioner to file his reports on the two notices within a week. (KNT)

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