Lawyers representing victims of the anti-Muslim pogrom in Delhi claim they were beaten by the Delhi police inside the police station as part of what they allege is a ‘campaign of terror’ to get them to drop cases.
The lawyers are representing Muslim youths who were targeted by Hindutva mobs and arrested by Delhi police after the pogrom, in which 53 people died and thousands were made homeless in attacks by Hindu nationalist mobs across the national capital.
According to the lawyers of the Indian Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Law Network, the incident happened after police denied that arrested Muslims, their clients were inside Jagatpuri police station and refused them access. The incident came on February 26.
There are many reports from the ground that the Delhi police is making the Muslim victims, who were harmed and lost their properties, as accused in the violence. “We were the victims of hatred and violence and now we are being targeted by policemen too,” a Muslim youth lives in violence-affected area told Maktoob.
“We were beaten by police with lathi, followed threats to us to stop working on cases,” a lawyer said.
Arif Iqbal, 30 who was representing arrested activist Khalid Saifi told The Telegraph that the police denied that Saifi was there and he was also refused access to meet Saifi.
Section 41D of India’s Code of Criminal Procedure states a detainee has the right to meet his lawyer.
“Muslims including 70 year-old man were arbitrarily picked up by police in Delhi. The families don’t know where they were taken,” rights activists and lawyers who were associated with Muslim organizations and civic bodies say.
“The police then began pushing us before charging and beating us with lathi,” Iqbal added.
“Male police officers were beating all of us, we were beaten up until we reached the gates to leave the station, I was hit badly on the head by one officer,” said Iqbal who was later hospitalised for suspected concussion.
He has filed a case in higher court following the police attack.
“Women advocates were manhandled by male police officers,” a lawyer told Maktoob.