Communalism

Policemen Seen Brutally Assaulting Muslims, But 4 Months Later FIR Has No Suspects

Faizan, a 23-year-old man, was one of the five men who were beaten up by men in Delhi police uniform. He succumbed to his injuries a few days later.

New Delhi: In February this year, a 23-year-old Muslim man, Faizan, was brutally assaulted along with four others by policemen in uniform. The assaulting officers were captured on camera, and were seen assaulting and forcing Faizan to sing the national anthem. Faizan succumbed to his injuries a few days later. But despite pressing video evidence, shot on a mobile camera, the Delhi police have not named any policemen as accused in the case.

According to a report in HuffPost India, the FIR lodged at the Bhajanpura Police station makes no mention of the clearly documented video footage of the police assaulting Faizan. It also contradicts on-record police statements that Faizan was in police custody following his assault, and claims that Faizan died after he went missing from the Guru Tegh Bahadur hospital in northeast Delhi.

The video had gone viral and sparked outrage across the country. While the family is yet to get the copy of the post-mortem report, the police have already begun pressurising witnesses to change their statements in the case, the HuffPost article says.

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Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Rajesh Deo has told HuffPost that the investigation is pending and, “If there are any discrepancies, they will come out in the further investigation.” Three months have passed since Faizan’s death, but the police are yet to file a chargesheet in the case.

In March, The Wire’s Srishti Srivastava had met Faizan’s mother Kismatun. “Someone had recognised my son in GTB (Guru Teg Bahadur) hospital and called me. I went looking for him… I waited until 1 am. Another person had come there, whose child was also injured. I kept asking the police to let me meet my son… at least feed him… They did not let me even see him once. They just asked me to go back…”

HuffPost India has put together a disturbing sequence of omission and possible misrepresentation the facts of the incident. The article says, “If the police FIR is to be believed, on Feb 25 Head Constable Manoj Bhatti arrived at GTB hospital and was provided Faizan’s medico-legal-certificate which claimed “physical assault by the mob” as stated by the patient himself. Faizan, the FIR claims, had received treatment and left GTB hospital on his own. The FIR claims the police visited Faizan’s house, but he was not at home. Later, the police learnt he had sought treatment at Lok Nayak Hospital and had died.”

An eyewitness who was assaulted by the police alongside Faizan, however, told HuffPost India that they were bundled into a police vehicle after their assault and taken to the Guru Tegh Bahadur hospital for a round of basic first-aid, after which they were taken to the Jyoti Nagar police station.

Kismatun has alleged that she has been asked by the police to change her statement. According to the HuffPost India article, she is not the only one to allegedly have been influenced. The relative had told the news website that the police intimidated the person who shot the video by insinuating that he was a rioter too.