No End to Crackdown on Jahangirpuri Muslims

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The Muslim residents of the locality say that the police raids and fear of arrests have forced many men to go underground, go back to their respective villages or migrate to other cities.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – More than a month after communal violence rocked Delhi’s Jahangirpuri during a Hindu religious march, the police crackdown on Muslims in the area is going on unabated. Local Muslims complain that they are still putting up with harassment with the police conducting frequent raids to pick up men, teenage boys and even children.


The Muslim residents of the locality say that the police raids and fear of arrests have forced many men to go underground, go back to their respective villages or migrate to other cities.


Jahangirpuri is a mixed neighbourhood of lower class workers mostly rag pickers, rickshaw drivers or petty shopkeepers. Bengali Muslims make up a significant chunk of the population here especially in C-Block where clashes followed by a brief demolition drive.


The Wire which broke the news about the police harassment of locals, quoted a Muslim woman claiming that her brother was detained on May 20 during a police raid at their home when they were having lunch. The police, she said first alleged he was involved in a case of theft but later a court order named him in a case of communal violence. The woman alleged that the police even threatened her daughter during the raid which has left the family traumatised.


The police action has forced her husband and sons to flee Delhi in order to avoid “wrongful incarcerations” as she claimed that they were not in Jahangirpuri on the day of violence on April 16. “We all know that they are picking up Muslim men and putting their names in the case, alleging violence,” she said.


Another resident said three of his family members have been picked up in the post violence raids. He claimed that almost every day, the police are arresting “innocent men” in Jahangirpuri. He fears young children and teenage boys picked up for petty crimes bearing the brunt of police excesses in the custody.

 
“We are never fully free, we are constantly under surveillance. What we are eating, where we are going to, they are constantly monitoring our movements. We have become prisoners in our own homes,” he added.


The men say they are more afraid of custodial torture than having to spend time in jail.


A Muslim man in his 20s alleged that he was jailed for a day after being spotted in a CCTV footage where he said he was seen intervening in a street brawl. He said cops rained lathis on him while he was trying to mediate between two parties. In custody, he alleged he was forced to pose with a gun given by the cops. When resisted against it, they threatened to slap the NSA on him.  

Lawyers see a pattern in the police crackdown which was witnessed in the aftermath of Delhi riots of February 2020. Most of those arrested are Muslims. They are first framed before charging them under serious laws including NSA.  They lashed out at the police for the lopsided action targeting only Muslims.

On May 7, a Rohini court came down heavily on the police saying it “utterly failed” to stop the illegal procession into Muslim areas on the day of Hanuman Jyanti. The Delhi court observed that instead of stopping the illegal procession, which did not have permission, police accompanied it.

Demolition drive in Delhi’s violence-hit Jahangirpuri 
theclarionindia
theclarionindiahttps://clarionindia.net
Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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