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Police target Muslims at Yamuna Pushta
By Tanveer Saiyed

18 years old Mujahid was killed and many injured in a rash police firing in the night of 23 June around 10.30 p.m. The trouble erupted after the local police post in-charge Pradip Kumar picked up Ishaq Mullah from a room opposite a Madrasa at Sanjay Amar Colony in New Delhi in connection with the twin bomb blasts near the Red Fort on June 18.

According to joint commissioner of police (north), Mr Ajay Chadha, it all started when policemen looking for the recent bomb blast suspect, Shah Alam, reached some houses in the area. Earlier the police had received information indicating that Shah Alam was hiding in a house opposite the mosque. Mr. Chadha added that during the search the police found a person named Ishaq Mullah. The police searching the house found a gunny bag containing some old magazines and notebooks. The policemen took away Ishaq to the nearby police post for interrogation.

However, a local resident Rahim Khan, told the Milli Gazette that Ishaq had nothing to do with any subversive activity in the capital. He was religious, honest and innocent, said Rahim. He added that the police had entered the mosque with shoes and when they found nothing they went to the madrasa just opposite the mosque. They desecrated the Holy Qur'an while tossing the gunny bag full of religious books with booted legs.

Another resident of Sanjay Amar Colony, Firoza Khatoon, told this newspaper that Nazrul informed other residents of the area about this police excess. They visited the police post to know the reason of this sacrilegious act. By then, more residents had reached the police post to register their peaceful protest against the misuse of police power.

A neighbour of the mosque wishing not to be named said when the people demanded release of detained Ishaq, the policemen sitting in the police post came outside and started hurling filthy abuses on the gathering. Soon some other policemen joined them and used force to discourage and demoralize the jhuggi dwellers. The situation went out of control when the police fired eight rounds and 16 teargas shells. 

According to the victims of police excesses, their trauma did not end here. It went on whole night and next day till afternoon, when they were released after being arrested and discriminately beaten black and blue at Kotwali police station.

25 years old Muhammad Afzal said he was picked up at 1 a.m. on the night of firing and taken to the kotwali police station along with other 30 slum-dwellers. As we started getting down, four policemen each from two sides with lathis in their hands, started beating us badly. They separated us from Hindus by asking names. We were kept in a separate room and beaten up badly. One of us, Mohammed Zakir, 25, who pulls trolley, was forced to urinate before all in a room in the police station and then he was made to drink the same" recalled Afzal.

The police even did not spare Mujahid’s father. Who was thrashed badly and was threatened not to be seen in Delhi again or in otherwise case he will meet the same fate his son has met. Under fear of police, Mujahid’s father had to take his son’s dead body to Bihar where he had come from some15 years ago to support his family. Only body carriage cost him Rs. 14 thousands, an amount well beyond his capacity

Not only men, women too became the prey of this police ferocity. A 25 year-old pregnant woman, Shahana said, ‘five policemen assaulted me after they forced entry into my jhuggi around 2 a.m. on June 23. They stepped in, kicked me and left when I fell down.’

Another 35 years old woman Alisa said, ‘there were hundreds of police in the area just after the police fired on the mob. Some policemen came to my jhuggi and started thrashing me without any reason’.

The Hindus who were arrested and taken with us to the police station, were behaved gently and released much earlier than us. The police while beating us, kept hurling unspeakable abuses,’ recalled 27 years old Mohammed Shamim of Saharsa district in Bihar. He tailors clothes and was arrested on firing night.

The police ironically twisted the whole story through national media. Most of the national dailies carried out distorted reports on 25 June. They projected the police as innocents. Can people who are overawed by the khaki-clad, dare attack the same (as our national press went reporting)?

Dr MG Mustafa, just opposite the Muhammadiya mosque, told this correspondent that Ishaq who used to work during day and teach children in the evening, had a reliable and respectable image. That is why people rushed to his rescue from the police post en-masse after hearing the news of his arrest.

People have condemned police brutality. Condemning the alleged police brutalities, Naib Imam Syed Ahmad Bukhari said the Muslim Community as a whole is being targeted in the garb of a drive against ‘Bangladeshis’ staying here illegally. This act of the police has hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community, he said.

Besides the Naib Imam, former prime minister VP Singh, H.K.L. Bhagat, area legislator, Shoaib Iqbal, Delhi health minister, Dr AK Walia and Mufti Mukarram visited the spot.
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