New Delhi: In a bid to clamp down on social boycott and hate crimes against Muslims, the Delhi Minorities Commission has issued two notices to the commissioner of the Delhi police.
These notices pertain to two different incidents – one in which some residents of Shastri Nagar in North Delhi planned to bar the entry of and boycott Muslims traders in their colony, and another in which a Muslim youth was allegedly lynched in a village in Bawana in North West Delhi.
`Muslims vegetable, fruit sellers barred from entering colony’
Taking cognisance of a video from Shastri Nagar in Delhi, which it said was shot on or around April 5, the Commission said:
“A group of people are seen holding a meeting on the street in violation of the current Covid-19 restriction. They are planning to stop Muslims from entering their colony and asking people in other colonies to do the same. Some faces and the area are very clear and visible.”
Attaching a copy of the video recording along with the notice, the Commission said in its notice that this gathering attracts action under IPC Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc) and 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration).
It further said in its notice that the people seen in the meeting also came together in violation of Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act as a lockdown is in force.
On the content of the video, the Commission said, “in the video the group is seen giving an instant example when they stop two fruit/ vegetable vendors from entering their colony and threaten them of dire consequences if they enter without their Aadhaar cards to show that they are not Muslims.”
`Youth assaulted on return from Tablighi conference’
In the second notice to the police commissioner, the minority rights panel said “as a result of media trial and inaction of the concerned authorities, hate crimes are becoming common in Delhi.”
It added that “the latest example of this is a video circulating on social media since April 6. In it we see a Muslim youth being ruthlessly beaten by some people in a rural setting.”
The Commission said it conducted enquiries into the incident which “established that the incident pertains to village Harewali” under the Bawana Industrial Area police station in North West Delhi district.
The panel said the victim was a young man, Mahboob, who was a tractor driver by profession. In some reports, it acknowledged, he is also referred to as Dilshad.
On what transpired, the Commission said, Mahboob along with another youth from the nearby Qutubgarh village had gone to a Tablighi conference in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. “On his return, he was dropped at his village by a police party on April 5, 2020. But Jat villagers did not allow him to enter the village. They cornered him in a field and started beating him with chappals, lathis and sticks, injuring him seriously, breaking his arms while his family members watched helplessly.” The Commission charged that the attackers included some government servants.
It added that when the attackers saw that Mahboob was about to collapse and die, they called an ambulance and faked a story that he was hit in a road accident. “The victim was taken to some hospital which referred him to Ambedkar Hospital in Rohini, which too referred him to yet another hospital. Until April 7, he was said to be in critical condition and was guarded by two-three of his assailants so that he does not say anything implicating them,” said the Commission, adding that there was also pressure on Mahboob’s family to enter into a compromise and not press the issue.
Notice highlighted how fear even drove Muslims to change their names
The notice further said that Mahboob’s attackers culled information from him during the beating that the other youth who went with him to Bhopal was Noor Mohammad, son of Mahavir, a Muslim who changed him name out fear in 1947, from Qutubgarh. “The attackers phoned their acquaintances in Qutubgarh and there too Noor Mohammad was thrashed,” the notice said.
These attacks come at a time when a large section of national media has been vilifying the Tablighi Jamaat after a number of its members who attended an international conference in Delhi contracted COVID-19.
`Jats telling Muslims to follow Hindu traditions’
The notice brought to the notice of the police commissioner that Jats are allegedly telling the small Muslim minority in the two villages of Harewali and Qutubgarh that from now on, they must live according to Hindu customs, otherwise they will be thrown out of the villages.
“They dragged Mukhtiar Singh – a Muslim who changed his name in 1947 – to a temple and forced him to commit that from now on he will not bury his dead and will live like a Hindu. Muslims in these two villages have been warned that they will be crushed and thrown out of the village if they complain to the police.”
The notice further said that an attempt was also made on April 6 to assault the Imam of Bawana’s Chowk Masjid, Maulana Muhammad Ayyub, and ransack his house. But, it added, timely intervention of the police saved him. In the Bawana JJ Colony, it said an unsuccessful attempt was similarly made to storm a mosque.
`Muslims wearing kurta-pyjama are taunted’
The Commission further informed the police commissioner that on Holambi Kalan roads, Muslims wearing kurta-pyjama and sporting beards are often teased and taunted.
The Commission told the police commissioner that “it is clear from the above that the small Muslim minority in the North West district in particular is having a difficult time at present. They need reassurance from your side and miscreants must be dealt with firmly to send a message that such behavior will not be tolerated.”
The rights panel also asked the Delhi top cop to order appropriate action against the group responsible for the attack on Mahboob in Harewali village through filing of an appropriate FIR, and initiation of similar strong action against those who attacked Noor Mohammad in Qutubgarh village. It also demanded increasing police presence in these areas and directed the commissioner to submit his compliance report into the two notices within a week.