Sunday, December 3, 2023

Police took down their pants, pointed genitals at us, and said, ‘take freedom’: Muslim women in northeast Delhi

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Photo: Shaheen Abdulla/Maktoob

According to a fact-finding report by the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) on violence in northeast Delhi, Delhi Police had sexually assaulted Muslim women who were protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The 134-page report has a separate section on women which seeks to detail multiple allegations of sexual assault on women, by Delhi Police and Hindu mob.

Police took down their pants, pointed genitals at us: Muslim women

While the slogans of Azadi were used by the women protesters, the police used the same chants of Azadi to sexually harass women and attack them, including at least one incident of police officers flashing their genitals in front of women protesters, report says.

According to the report, a woman from Dayalpur, who witnessed the police dragging a minor girl, was hit on the head when she tried to protect the girl.

When she regained consciousness, she saw that there were many injured women around. The crowd of the rioters continuously kept abusing them.

In her harrowing account, she stated: “…It was then that the Police pulled their pants down and pointed their genitals towards the women stating that they wanted ‘freedom’ and they were there to give them ‘freedom’.”

According to the fact-finding report, women protesters from the Chand Bagh sit-in protest site claimed that they had been brutally beaten up by male police officials. 

“The nature of verbal abuses was also sexual and communal in nature. Women have spoken about the emotional trauma that their children and their families go through because of the violence they witnessed and experienced. From the testimonies, it is clear that the police did not come forward to help, and in fact, in several instances resorted to violence towards women,” said the report in it’s concluding section.

Delhi Minorities Commission directed to the authorities to make sure special measures are taken to assist women and child victims, including for filing complaints of sexual violence against private persons and/or public officials during the days of anti-Muslim riot unleashed by Hindu mobs in northeast Delhi in February this year.

“Assure women victims of effective legal representation to pursue cases of sexual violence in accordance with their right to engage an advocate of their choice to assist the prosecution,” it added.

The fact-finding report has tried to delve into the causes of violence and its perpetrators along with the role of Delhi Police which comes under Home Minister Amit Shah. Read the report on police complicity in the violence.

Rioters sexually abused while police kept aiding them: Police compliant

Rehmat, a resident of northeast Delhi in her complaint to the police, wrote about the sexual nature of the Hindu mob’s violence against Muslims and said rioters sexually abused Muslim women while the police kept aiding them.

“The rioters started sexually assaulting young women, while the police kept aiding them. They were hurling vulgar abuses at the women, saying, ‘Today we will tear their clothes off and parade them.’” She wrote.

No FIR had been registered against his complaint.

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Aslah Kayyalakkath
Aslah Kayyalakkath
Aslah Kayyalakkath is a Founding Editor of Maktoob. He tweets @aslahtweets

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