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Why Minorities Commission is angry?

By Kalam Khan

Lucknow: A three-member team of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), comprising its members Lt. General (retd.) MR Sethna, AR Shervani and an officer P. Sharma toured Uttar Pradesh during October to inquire into cases pertaining to atrocities on minorities. In many cases the police had committed excesses on the hapless victims. 

The commission’s report said that there were 600 cases in UP about which no reports were provided to the commission by the concerned departments. The commission’s team tried to solve 43 important cases on priority basis. In some cases the team summoned the concerned district authorities and police officers to find out the facts, but the commission was astonished to listen their answers.

In most of the cases, the commission was not satisfied with their answers. What the team found after inquiring into cases as long as four-years-old has put a question mark on the role of police and civil administration. 

For example, Ahrar Ali of Milkiana in Salon town of Rae Bareilly district, had registered a complaint with the commission that his minor daughter Nigar Siddiqui was kidnapped by some unknown persons on 31 March 2001. He had lodged a complaint with Rae Bareilly police and wrote dozens of letters to officers of the police station and to the superintendent of police but they could not trace his daughter. He came to know later that his daughter was kidnapped by one Sita Ram Jaiswal of Choray Bazar town in Faizabad district. He informed the police, but they remained a silent spectator. At last he wrote a letter to the chairman of the commission in 2001 itself seeking justice. The commission sent a letter to Rae Bareilly police in-charge asking a report about the incident. The commission even sent several reminders to the Rae Bareilly police and civilian authorities, but they did not reply. After failing to get any reply in four years, the commission toured the state and summoned the concerned officers in Lucknow on 17 October and sought a report about the case. The commission was told that four years have elapsed and the girl had by then become the mother of two boys. They also told the commission that the complainant Ahrar Ali had withdrawn his complaint and hence there was no sense in dragging the case further!

In another case, Rukhsana Begum, 30, a resident of CPC Colony, Maal Godam Ghanta Ghar, Kanpur, was arrested on false charges and jailed. Mrs Aisha Bano of the colony appealed to the NCM against the high-handedness of the police. Rukhsana was a pious lady who looked after the management of Line Shah Baba’s dargah. She had a good image among the people who visited the dargah. Once Janta Dal (United) city unit president Pradeep Yadav sought some help from Rukhsana but she did not oblige him and he decided to teach her a lesson. On 29 May 2000 at Pradeep Yadav’s instance, Collector Ganj police came to Rukhsana’s residence and asked her to accompany them to the police station to serve as a witness in a case. They had promised her that she would be allowed to return home after giving her statement. She was detained instead and next day they sent her to jail claiming that she had 32 packets of smack. Thereafter began the ordeal of Rukhsana and her family members. They were subjected to police brutalities. The threat of Pradeep Yadav was being put into practice.

Responding to the complaint of Aisha Bano, the commission sought a report from the then DM and SP of Kanpur, but they did not submit any report. When the commission’s team, summoned the concerned officers to Lucknow during its current tour, they were told that Rukhsana was a history-sheeter [criminal] and that she was involved in three-dozen criminal cases. The police officials told them that the whereabouts of Rukhsana and her husband were not known to them and that her residence had been sealed.

In Varanasi a student leader, Ashraf, was murdered in the city. SSP IL Meena, sub-inspectors Bhaggu Nath Mishra and Dharam Nath Yadav were accused. A complaint had been registered with the NCM in this case. The complaint filed with the commission said that the police first abducted Ashraf and then murdered him. Ashraf was wanted in a case and arrested on 10 October 2000 under case No. 504/506. Ashraf’s family had requested the commission for justice. The commission sought an answer from DM, Varanasi, on 27 November 2001. But the DM did not reply. Reminder after reminder failed to break his silence. The commission summoned the DM in Lucknow. He told the commission that an FIR had been registered in Ashraf’s murder case against a sub-inspector. Varanasi district authorities told the team that a magisterial inquiry was conducted and the sub-inspector was found guilty. Neither Asharf’s family has been given any compensation by the government nor the sub-inspector has been suspended or even arrested. 

Abdus Samad, a student of Madrasa Khadim-e Islam at Hapur, Ghaziabad, was arrested by the police and declared a “terrorist” and lodged in jail. The commission sought a report in this case, but the police sat on the matter. 
NCM member AR Shervani is angry at minorities not getting justice. According to him, there are 600 criminal cases in UP in which if impartial inquiry is conducted, the police will be exposed. The commission sought reports in many cases but its notices were thrown in the dustbin. If the police can behave like this with a high constitutional body, it is easy to understand its attitude to the cases related to common man.

Shervani said that the commission’s team had come to UP three months earlier also for inquiring into some long-pending cases. The police had not furnished any report in 22 cases which were pending for a long time. He regretted the patheticc attitude of the police. He said that after hearing the pending cases on 12-13 October, the commission has reached the conclusion that the guilty police officials should also be punished, because if they are not punished, the entire police force will be blamed. Giving examples of Rae Bareilly, Kanpur, Varanasi and Hapur cases, he said that in all the four cases the attitude of police was questionable.

Shervani added that the police becomes a suspect because even in four-year old cases when the commission sent notices repeatedly to them and asked reports, no replies were sent. They gave no importance to the commission’s queries, he said. As a last resort, the commission was compelled to visit the places and summon the police officers but they failed to give satisfactory answers in any of the cases. Not only this, they tried to mislead the commission, he said. (Translated from Rashtriya Sahara Urdu, 18 Oct. 04)

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