ATS Silent After Picking Up Muslim Youths

Afroz Alam Sahil, BeyondHeadlines

At 11.30 Pm Tuesday BeyondHeadlines got a distress call from Mr. Mahtab who said he has learnt that his cousin brother has been allegedly detained by Mumbai ATS.

Mahtab said that his cousin hailing from Bihar and studying in Swami Parmananda College of engineering in Mohali is allegedly picked up by Mumbai Police and his family has no information about him. One of them was let off on Tuesday Evening. Mahtab got information from him only.

BeyondHeadlines immediately tried to communicate with Mohali Police and Mumbai police but no confirmation could be attained.

On Wednesday we spoke to Ashraf, who was among the students detained by the police. He said that four student were detained by Police.

Ashraf Narrated the whole incident as, I do job along with my studies, on January 1 morning when I returned from office after night shift I found 3 police cars park outside our rented accommodation at Lalru. When I entered the policemen (in civil dress) present there questioned what I do. I told them I live in the same room so they also pick me up and took four of us including Qamar Alam Shaikh, Abdul Wahab and Tanveer Alam to some place in Kharar.

We were questioned separately for two days. I and Tanveer were let free on evening of January 3. They call someone from my office and enquired about my work then only they let me free. Tanveer was also freed. We were not told why we were picked up. I was so afraid that i could not speak to anyone about the incident. I called Mahtab to inform him about his cousin brother’s detainment.

Ashraf, a mechanical Engineering Diploma student also told us that all their documents were also seized by police. The police told them that Wahab And Qamar will be flown to Mumbai.

On Wednesday the Punjab police sources confirmed that Mumbai ATS has carried an operation in Mohali in which four youths were picked out of whom two were let free and two are detained.

CIA (Crime Investigation Agency, A unit of Punjab Police) Kharar Inspector Gurcharan Singh confirmed that the boys were taken to Mumbai by Inspector Kedar Pawar of Mumbai ATS. They were arrested Under FIR no 33/11 under section 419, 420, 465, 467 and 120B of Indian Penal Code.

We tried to contact Inspector Kedar Pawar but got no response. Sources in ATS Mumbai confirmed arrest in some fake currency related case.

But neither Mumbai ATS nor Punjab police informed guardians of students about their detainment. The families of the arrested students could get info only after two of the boys were released.

Abdul Wahab is a second year engineering student and Qamar Alam is a first year student.  The students have their examination on Wednesday. If the police would have informed their parents they would have tried to get them release and appear for examinations.

The Supreme Court has clearly said that police must inform families of arrested or detained people immediately or at least in 8 hours if they reside at some distant place. After arrest the police must present arrested people before court within 24 hours then only they can seek further remand.

Here not only basic human rights of the arrested boys have been violated but their career is also at stake as they were to appear for their examinations. The chilling fact is that police questioned them for three days before taking them to Mumbai but did not bother to inform their families. Did the police did not know that even if they have committed some crime they are citizens of India and they have certain legal rights.

The ATS investigation will later prove whether the arrested boys are guilty or not but their conduct so far raises several questions about functioning of police forces in our country.

BeyondHeadlines firmly believe in process of law and we respect every lawful investigation of ATS or any security Agency of country. We believe the family of the arrested boys will be informed by the ATS immediately.

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