Special Reports

What happened after the 2007 Hyderabad serial blasts?

Lateef Mohammad Khan After two years of twin blasts in Hyderabad, bomb blast victims and police tortured victims are still suffering
Two years have passed on the serial blasts which rocked the Hyderabad city in the year 2007, the first major one at Macca Masjid and subsequent police firing on innocent people and the twin blasts, one at Lumbini Park and another at Gokul Chat (eatery) on the same day. Large number of people were killed in the blasts, leaving many severely injured. The kith and kin of the people, those who lost their lives have got some relief in the form of compensation and government jobs, but the condition of the injured persons is miserable because of the negligence of the government which has failed in its responsibility to provide them complete medical treatment and rehabilitation. Ball bearings and other material used in the bomb are still lodged in various parts of the victims’ bodies including head, hands and legs. The severely injured persons have lost their limbs and became handicap and dependent on others. They even went to the extent of saying that death is better than this kind of life.

 The other side of the story of serial blasts of 2007 is that Police started randomly picking up Muslim youths from the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad (not a single youth was picked up from any other community). What did this ‘picking up’ mean? It was not arrest as such, rather they were abducted and kidnapped which is otherwise called  ‘Illegal Detention’.

 The frisking operations by the police continued extensively for the three months, after the blasts in 2007. Large numbers of Muslim youth were illegally detained in unknown places, some remanded to judicial custody. Under the pretext of investigations, the police targeted these youths. While under illegal detention and wrongful confinement, they were tortured physically and mentally, administered electric shocks, stripped naked, abused with filthy language, humiliated, denied sleep, threatened that women of their households will be  abducted and raped, threatened of false implication of themselves and their family members in terrorism cases, threatened of killing them in fake encounters, long periods of torture, including hanging either by the hands or upside down by the legs for long periods, brutal beating with sticks, rubber and leather objects, forced to lie down and beaten, piercing of needles into the sensitive area around the nipples, having heavy objects hung from the detainees’ private parts, firing ammunition near the ears of the detainees and making claims that the next rounds of fire would be into the heads of the detainees, administering electric shocks to the ear lobes, nipples and the private parts (penis and scrotum) and so on. The police also used unprintable abusive words telling those who screamed out “Allah, Allah” in extreme pain to call out “Bhagwan,” “Hey Ram” instead, and in some cases went to the extent of telling them to drink urine when they asked for water. All the above were  systematic violations of constitutionally guaranteed rights, both human and civil rights. Police falsely implicated these Muslim youths in conspiracy cases. Media consistently  reported that these youths were booked in the cases of the bomb blasts, while the detainees were actually booked in the conspiracy cases.

 Although the youths detained and tortured by the police were all acquitted by the courts, still the cases of the blast in Macca Masjid in May 2007 and the twin blasts at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat in August 2007 remain unresolved.

 While the majority community was faced with the bomb terror, the minority Muslim community is under threat of three types of terror, i.e., bomb terror, police terror and mob terror.

 Two years after the twin blasts, we can say that Muslims were targeted by taking the advantage of the blasts and in the name of investigations. No doubt, blasts were terrorist acts by some unknown terrorists. On the other hand, the illegal detention, torture, and implication of innocent Muslim youths were also terrorist acts committed by known anti-Muslim police officers, and this is called State Terror. Blast victims got some relief from the government, but here in the case of arrests, torture of Muslim youths and spoiling their future, government of AP just washed off its hands by saying one single word: “sorry.” We demand from the government to compensate torture victims at par with blast victims.

 We feel that the people of Hyderabad are under the continuous threat of bomb terror, police terror and mob terror. Three sides of terror have worsened the living conditions of the people. Victims have lost confidence in Government. People need a healing touch, otherwise civil society will be affected badly. We demand the government to present the minority commission report in the state assembly during the current session and implement the recomendations of Advocate Ravi Chandra’s Minority Commission report.

The author is general secretary of the Hyderabad-based Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee and may be contacted at clmci@hotmail.com

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 October 2009 on page no. 13

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