Special Reports

This is How Our Most Secular Institution Treated a Muslim Subedar

Despite pending petition, Subedar's family evicted from Military quarter. Military Police took out household possessions and loaded them on a vehicle. Shahnaz roams around with her possessions until late night

New Delhi: Military Police on 8 October  forcefully evicted the family of Subedar Maulvi Ishrat Ali of Rajputana Rifles in his absence from their quarter in Delhi cantonment.

Military Police evicting family of Subedar Ali

Subedar Ishrat Ali had been issued a notice of disobedience for refusing to chant "Jai Shri Ram" and "Jai Mata di" instead of the traditional greeting of "Jai Hind" and had filed a petition in the High Court against the orders to evacuate his quarter immediately.

Military Police did not allow Delhi Police to enter the house that Maulvi Subedar Ishrat Ali's wife Shehnaz Bano had called by dialling 100. She told Rashtriya Sahara, "Today in the afternoon at about 12.30 some 35-40 personnel of military police, including women police officers, entered my house. They pushed and forced me and my daughters out. Then they started throwing out the household possessions, much of which has been damaged in the process."

According to Shahnaz Bano, when she called the police, military police did not let the Delhi police in. "After this, military police called a tempo and loaded our possessions on it saying, 'Go wherever you want to go.'"

"My husband is away in Bikaner and my son is not at home. Where will I go with my possessions? Give me at least one week I told them but they did not budge and got us ejected," she said adding "No one in the 3 Raj Rif Centre helped us. Hungry and thirsty for hours we stood there but no one even offered us a glass of water."

She said, "With no option available to us, after a long wait we came to Sagar Pur where a friend of my son lives. My possessions are still in the tempo and my son has gone in search of a house to rent."

Shahnaz Bano further said, "We are being treated like this because my husband refused to obey his officers and did not chant 'Jai Mata di' and 'Jai Shri Ram' instead of 'Jai Hind'".

In the meanwhile Kapil Deo, a retired officer of Raj Rif, phoned Rashtriya Sahara and said, "I regard Subedar Ishrat Ali as my teacher. This behaviour of army officers with him is absolutely wrong. No one can be forced to act against his religion like this."

Citing the example of Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Kapil said, "He had refused to worship in a temple, which is his right. Similarly, Maulvi Subedar Ishrat Ali cannot be forced to chant "Jai Mata di". The slogan of "Jai Hind" was coined by Subhash Chandra Bose and to oppose this slogan is akin to insulting Netaji."

Subedar Ishrat Ali, working as a Maulvi with Rajputana Rifles, was transferred on 16th November 2013 to Rajputana Rifles Bikaner. His wife Shahnaz Bano is a heart patient and is being treated at Base Hospital Delhi cantonment. In Bikaner, there is a military hospital but it does not have cardiology department. On this basis, Ishrat Ali had applied to stop his transfer but his application was rejected. Later, on 24 January, 2014, he joined Bikaner Rajputana Rifles. Immediately afterwards he was ordered to vacate his military quarter at P-13/8, Delhi Cantonment. (Translated from Rashtriya Sahara Urdu daily, Delhi, 9 October 2014 by urdumediamonitor.com)

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 October 2014 on page no. 13

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