50-Year-Old Muslim Woman Forced to Beg as Her Son Languishes in Jail in Delhi Riots Case

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Tabassum has been forced to beg to survive and feed her three children as her 22-year-old son Shahabuddin has been languishing in jail for the last one-year.

A local woman activist Chand Bi decided to take up the case of Shahabuddin after one of her friends had spotted Tabassum begging in her area in a very bad condition and asked her to help her.

Waquar Hasan | Clarion India

NEW DELHI — A 50-year-old Muslim woman, Tabassum has been forced to beg to survive and feed her three children as her 22-year-old son Shahabuddin has been languishing in jail for the last one-year in a case related to Delhi’s anti-Muslim riots last year.

Her son Shahabuddin was the sole breadwinner of her family after her husband and elder son died years ago. She is living in a rented house in Khajuri Khas of northeast Delhi along with her children. She has to pay Rs.1000 in rent for the house.

Tabassum told Clarion India that she started begging to survive and feed her children since her son was picked up by Delhi Police when he was returning from work a year ago in March.

“After the riots ended last year, my son was picked up from near a traffic signal. He was sitting near the red light signal to take rest while returning from work from Badarpur. Someone told the police about my son. The police just needed an excuse to arrest,” she said.

She said Shahabuddin was the only family member who was earning bread and butter for the family. Since his arrest, she has been struggling to survive and support her young children. “What can I tell you? I have to beg to survive and to feed my children. There is no work. I used to go for cleaning dishes in nearby homes. But Muslims are not being allowed to enter houses for any work now. I was helpless thinking where to go. Then, I started begging to feed my children,” she said.

Shahabuddin has been booked under various IPC sections 147, 148, 149, 302,153A/505, 120-B, and 34.

A local woman activist Chand Bi, who works with NGO Sewa Bharat working for the Delhi riots victims, decided to take up the case of Shahabuddin after one of her friends had spotted Tabassum begging in her area in a very bad condition and asked her to help her.

Talking to Clarion India, Chand said that she spoke to a High Court lawyer for help in Shahabuddin’s case and will be filing a bail application on Monday or Tuesday. A chargesheet has been filed in his case.

She said that Shahabuddin was arrested allegedly for the murder of Babbu, who is resident of the area where Chand lives. But Babbu’s family was told by the police that there is no arrest in his case as the culprits have not been identified so far, she said.

Chand also said that Tabassum had hired a lawyer for her son’s case and gave him some fees by begging. But the lawyer was uncomfortable with the begging money and did not do anything. When she talked to the lawyer, he denied taking money and denounced Tabassum for giving his number to journalists. He also refused to meet Chand to discuss the details of the case.

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