India

Police Victimisation of Jamia Nagar Residents

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

New Delhi, On 28th February Jamia Nagar residents organised protest against Delhi Police at Batla House Chowk of Jamia Nagar. The residents accused Police of victimising young innocent Muslim Youths.

Following are excerpts from Speech of Mr. Abdul Khaliq, Secretary General, Lok Janshakti Party.

 

The very least that is expected of a civilized society is that the law-abiding citizen is treated fairly and decently. However, the stark and frightening reality today is that the residents of Jamia Nagar are under siege. The life of the ordinary Muslim here is an unending tale of injustice and oppression.

13th  Feb’s nightmarish incident, when plain clothes policemen barged into a building in Joga Bai, Jamia Nagar in the dead of night and attempted to whisk away innocent  families for questioning without valid authorization, raises disturbing questions about our secular polity and the rule of law. It has once again brought to the fore the terrible discrimination and prejudice that the Muslim has to contend with even in the capital of the country.

The incident has highlighted the fundamental flaws in our supposedly democratic and egalitarian society. The most frightening aspect is that the perpetrators of this terrible injustice are the guardians of the law. The Muslim no longer believes that he can depend on the police for his protection and safety. On the contrary, the law enforcement agencies have turned out to be the greatest tormentors of innocent Muslims, as recognized even by the law Courts.

Police have been routinely rounding up innocents without an iota of incriminating evidence. Would the police have used similar draconian methods in other than Muslim-dominated colonies of Delhi? Clearly the mistreatment and persecution of residents of Jamia Nagar (Batla House, Zakir Nagar, Joga Bai, etc) is because of their creed. There can be no more damning indictment of our secular polity!

In a recent article Ms. Manisha Sethi, a leading social activist and academic, has brutally exposed the truths of illegal detention, torture and frame-ups of innocent muslims by the Delhi Special Cell, whose conviction rate is an abysmal 30%. In trying to rationalise the poor conviction rate, a senior police officer has blamed circumstantial evidence as the bane of prosecution due to which many accused walk free.

It is apparent that the Delhi police have hit upon a new concept of jurisprudence in which in normal cases a person is innocent until proven guilty whereas for Muslims the principle is that he is guilty until he proves his innocence.

It is indeed a sad commentary of our rule of law that in the Joga Bai incident, the targeted victims were rescued from the police hoodlums by their concerned neighbours. It was their vigilantism which saved those families from almost certain torture and incarceration. Has our country come to such a sorry pass that muslims will now have to form their own vigilante squads to protect themselves against the predators sponsored by the State?

Not surprisingly, the media has largely ignored this Kafkaesque incident, while at the same time expending reams of newsprint on the drunken brawl of a Bollywood star. No less a person than Justice Katju has berated the media for accentuating the false perception about Muslims. An incident such as last week’s, was not covered because it was not about evil Muslim terrorists but about the persecution of innocent Muslims which is an everyday feature.

Muslims are beginning to wonder whether they have equal citizenship rights under the law. However, as a group we are now tired of the discrimination, the humiliation, the mistreatment at the hands of the State. Mere suspension of the eight police culprits is no solution.  We demand that they be dismissed from service and criminal proceedings instituted against them.

It is unfortunate that this government feels that by granting reservation quotas which will bring about a few hundred jobs for Muslims it will have rendered justice to the community. What a terribly misconceived notion! What the State needs to do is to take every measure possible to clear the toxic fumes of unequal treatment, discrimination and hatred inhaled by Muslims in all aspects of everyday life.

(Mr. Abdul Khaliq is General Secretary of Lok Janshakti Party.)

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