Sunday, December 10, 2023

Allegations of police brutality against Muslim men in Hyderabad spark calls for accountability

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A 26-year-old Muslim man, Mohammad Sami Khan, was brutally thrashed and beaten by a constable of Chaderghat Police station in Rasoolpura area of Hyderabad in Telangana on October 21, Saturday.

A 26-year-old Muslim man, Mohammad Sami Khan, was brutally thrashed and beaten by a constable of Chaderghat Police station in Rasoolpura area of Hyderabad in Telangana on October 21, Saturday.

In the videos that have surfaced on social media, a man identified as Khan can be seen being chased and physically assaulted by a police constable, while another police officer in uniform follows closely behind.

Khan is also visible in the footage, folding his hands and pleading for mercy while the police constable continues to strike him with his baton.

Khan has sustained injuries and wounds on his face and hands.

On October 21, around 12:45 am, Khan and his maternal cousin Syed Mustafa Abid were sitting outside their home in Rasoolpura, having just finished dinner, when the constable arrived in the area.

“A police constable named Chary, accompanied by a uniformed officer from Chaderghat Police station arrived in the area and ran his motorcycle over the legs of Sami first and then started beating him with the baton he was carrying”, Abid, Khan’s cousin who is an eye witness to the entire incident told Maktoob.

“He then chased him while thrashing him mercilessly. We kept asking him the reason for the assault but he didn’t respond and kept on beating him”, said Abid.

Abid who documented the incident on his phone alleged that the constable and the officer were drunk at that time.

He further said, “After the cops left, we took Sami to the nearby Osmania Hospital for the necessary treatment and then we went to the police station to file the complaint where the senior officers also determined that the cops who attacked Sami were drunk.”

However, Chaderghat Police didn’t take their complaint or register any and were diverted back.

Y. Prakash Reddy, Station House Officer of Chaderghat Police Station confirmed the thrashing incident but had another angle to the story.

Reddy said that Khan is an accused in a robbery and some other cases and hence was beaten by their constable.

When pressed whether beating an individual for a crime he is accused of is in compliance with Indian Law, the officer said, “The investigation is underway” and he cannot comment more on that before he disconnected the call.

Multiple calls further made by Maktoob went unanswered.

The family of the victim accused the police officer of unnecessarily targeting Khan and other men for their Muslim identity.

Moreover, they clarified that he is accused in a robbery case but said, “He has been framed wrongfully and it is a matter of investigation. If he is involved in the robbery he should be punished.”

Abid said, “Sami is a salesman and is hardworking and if he is accused in any case, the law will decide. How can police publicly chase and beat him?”

He asked, “Who gave police the right to publicly beat anyone mercilessly”.

Rising cases of police brutality

Local politicians say this is not an isolated incident of ‘police brutality’ against Muslims in the town.

Amjed Ullah Khan, spokesperson of a regional political party, Majlis Bachao Tehreek told Maktoob, “The police in the area are becoming more and more hostile towards Muslims. Earlier they only used to pick them up in false cases but now they beat them up in public with no regret or fear, that too without any fault.”

Khan informed, “On October 22, a Muslim man named Mohd. Nadeem, who runs a fast food shop named ‘Exotic Food Hub’ was beaten by the cops at the Lalaguda Police Station.”

He alleged, “In Lalaguda case, inspector Madhulata, and Sub Inspector Shahed Pasha can be seen dragging shop owner Nadeem with collar and beating him in the CCTV footage.”

The politician also tweeted about the incident on ‘X’ where he accused the lady officer of using foul language and manhandling people and that there have been multiple complaints against her.

The owner of Exotic Food Hub, Mohd Nadeem seemed intimidated to speak on the subject as he doesn’t want any ‘further publicity or controversy over it’.

However, Nadeem confirmed the assault by the police officer on the worker of Exotic Food Hub.

“We accidentally got 10 minutes late to close our shop that day. The shutter of the shop was half closed and the cops mistook it for open and working”, said Nadeem.

“The lady officer came in with the other cop and took our work by dragging him with the collar but released him after sometime”, he added.

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