On saying “Ram, Ram,” police stopped beating and administering electric shocks

New Delhi: A national level meeting was organised by ANHAD at Constitution Club, New Delhi on 29 January ‘11 to consider Sangh terrorism and the story of innocent Muslim youths who had come to this meeting. Among these innocent youths were Abdur Rahim and Muhammad Raees who were accused of complicity in Makka Masjid bomb blasts and put in jail for 5 months. Abdur Rahim said while speaking in this meeting that when they were beaten mercilessly like animals in the jail and electric current was administered to them and when they cried in pain and the word “Ya Allah” came out spontaneously from their mouths, police men used to say ‘why do you shout Allah, Allah. If you want to be spared, say Ram Ram,’ and when they said Ram Ram, only then they stopped beating and administering the current.

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Abu Zafar speaking

He said that they were innocent of the charges leveled in the Mecca Masjid bomb blasts and were falsely put in jail where they were insulted, mercilessly beaten, insulting abuses refering to mothers and sisters were hurled at us, hung upside down, were disrobed, electric shocks were given etc etc. After five months in jail, the world had changed for them they say.. Being labelled as terrorists people of the locality began to shun them and their family members. Under compulsion they had to leave the place and home where they had been living for years, settled at another place and started life anew. The court, finding no proof against us, ordered our release. AP’s chief minister used to say that he will consider apologising to us for wrongful punishment. He further said that after Makka Masjid bomb blasts, about ten youths were called to police station from every muhallah for questioning. This process continued for about two months but when another bomb blast took place, again we were arrested. Police used to torture us and ask us to confess to our hand in the blast. After 5 months in jail when we went to court for bail we were asked to pay 25000 rupees for bail. It was not possible for us to pay this amount but some people helped us by arranging this amount.

Similarly, Muhammad Raees also narrated his tales of woe. When he was asked why police caught him only and why not others, he said that this is the punishment for telling the truth and raising voice against oppression. Elucidating this, he said that in 2004 when Gujarat police falsely accused Maulana Naseeruddin of making speeches which vitiate the atmosphere and came to arrest him, one Mujahid Saleem tried to stop the police from arresting him (Maulana Naseeruddin) because he was innocent. At this Gujarat police shot at him (Saleem). Raees said that this happened in front of his very eyes so he deposed against that policeman. After Makka Masjid bomb blast he was arrested and told ‘It was you who had deposed against the Gujarat police. Now you will know what the punishment is for deposing against the police.’

Mufti Muhammad Ismail, Imam of Malegaon Jama Masjid and MLA who had also come to attend this meeting said that after the Malegaon bomb blast on 8 Sept 2006 when it was Friday and Shab-e Baraat, another bomb blast had taken place at Mushawarat Chowk shortly thereafter. In these two blasts 36 people had died and many more were injured. In that connection nine Muslim youths were arrested who are still rotting in jail. Mrs. Salma, wife of Maulana Zahid had also come here from Malegaon. Maulana Zahid was arrested from the mosque of a village in Nanded district of which he was the Imam. People of the village testified that he had led all the prayers in that mosque and that he had nothing to do with bomb blasts in Malegaon but inspite of that the police arrested him. Mufti Ismail said that only after Swamy Asemanand’s confession it has become clear that all bomb blasts at Mecca Masjid, Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Samjhauta Express etc were the handiwork of Sangh outfits, all innocent youths arrested in connection with these bomb blasts should not only be released immediately and unconditionally but they should also be given good compensation as their family members have suffered very much financially and mentally. Not only this, legal action must also be taken against police officers who framed false charges against them and brought miseries to them and their families, he demanded. Mrs. Salma said that we have no particular demand except that our people have suffered a lot for five years because of no fault and now they must be released immediately and we must be financially compensated because we are completely broken and had to work in others houses as maids to support our families. The future and careers of these youths have been damaged.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2011 on page no. 11

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