Skip to main content

Vadodara communal violence: Complaint to NHRC says, cops, plainclothesmen attacked women, children

Ashiyanabano: Hit by cops
By Our Representative
A report submitted to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Vadodara-based senior activists of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has squarely blamed the cops for acting in a high-handed manner during the communal violence, which took place when the Navratri celebrations were on in Gujarat in September. Basing themselves on interaction with people of several localities, the fact-finding team said the attacks were by the “police and not by any community”. Quoting individuals, the PUCL said, “There was no trouble in the Yakutpura area", yet the "police entered in Minar Masjid falia, Patel falia-1 and Patel falia-2 and suddenly started breaking vehicles.”
The report said, the cops “damaged each and every vehicle that was parked in these areas.” About 70 vehicles, “including, bikes, cars, auto rickshaws were damaged by them. Police damaged vehicles, cars, auto rickshaws window panes and doors of many houses”, it pointed out, adding, “They also beat some women with lathis. They were very abusive using the worst form of sexually explicit abuses. When women questioned why they were indulging in violence on this scale, they pulled their dupattas and almost choked one of them. They did not spare even children; a boy from 10th standard returning from tuition classes was beaten up.”
“They even beat up animals in their frenzy”, the report said, adding, “As per the complaint of the women they were just standing outside their houses, and police came forward to beat them up.” And “when they went to police station to lodge an FIR against this violence, they were viciously abused and driven out of the police station being threatened that that they are terrorists and they will be prosecuted under law.” Later, some 40 to 50 young men were “picked up from their homes and locked up.”
The team met Commissioner of Police Mr Radhakrishnan, who “accepted that the crime branch police was at fault in attacking the citizens and would take appropriate action”, the report said, but was in the denial mode when it requested him to formulate a citizen-police joint committee for spreading awareness and reducing communal tension, which he declined and told us to act ourselves in our own localities. “He said that here was almost no violence”, the report added.
Doors of a house broken open by cops
In yet another area, Taiwada, near Sat Daragah Area, the team found residents complaining how in Sat (Sevan) Dargah, Taiwada area, on 28th early morning at 1.00 am, “a few policemen came and took a round.” At 2:15 am, 30-35 cops came “with people in civil dress and slippers, some of whom had handkerchiefs on their faces, with steel pipes and started breaking the doors and picking up 5-6 boys after beating them with pipes and rods.”
Ashiyana Abdul Latif told the team that in the absence of her husband, Abdul Latif, as he was on night duty, “the steel bars of windows of his house were broken with instruments brought for the purpose and plain clothes policemen entered the house. Then they put on the light and broke the doors. They pushed Ashiana against the fridge. They then went to the other room where their son Abdul Raheman (Aged 19) was sleeping, caught him by his private parts and dragged him out.”
Further: “When his sister cried to them to leave her brother, they turned their attention to the girls and tried to pull them even while the mother was trying to protect them. They beat the mother and the girls and tore the clothes of the daughter Amrin (aged 22). They told the mother to give them the both girls if they wanted the boy free. The mother was beaten on the head near her eyes with a lathi, and the girls were also beaten with lathis. Amrin who is also a nurse in a state of shock, trauma and has started getting fits.”
The report said, “Her situation worsened and became unconscious so she was admitted in the Sayaji General Hospital in the morning of September 28, 2014. In the hospital she mentioned about assault by police as reason for her injuries and mental shock and also registered her complaint in the Police Station of the General Hospital”, the report said, adding, yet “the doctor mentions assault by ‘opposing party’ in her case paper and she is not sure what police has mentioned in the FIR/Register.”
The cops, said the report, also “broke doors of the house of Tahirabanu and beat her boy who is student in first year of college and took him. He had his examinations from October 7. Police entered the house of Kulsumbibi Adbdulrahim Pulaowala (aged about 50) and beat her on thighs and broke the cupboard and broke fixtures and glass all over the house. She was so much afraid that did not go to hospital to get treatment. Only with support from human right activists she was taken to hospital only on September 29.”
A damaged vehicle
In Fatehpura, Koyali Falia and Ranavas, the report said, “The trouble started on September 25 when a mob came to attack the tuition class located near their area. Along with the tuition class the houses and vehicles of other Hindu residents were also attacked. Shop keepers were forced to close their shops. Auto rickshaws, hand carts (laris), etc. were damaged. The trouble continued over the next few days. Several innocent boys were picked up by police.”
The report concluded, the factors which contributed to this new wave of communal violence in the city of Vadodara was “growing influence of BJP and right wing Hindu groups over police and administration”, nexus between “police , politicians and criminals”, and “ascendance of powerful builder lobbies and the related issues around land and attempts to displace people from poor bastis.”
The PUCL’s fact-finding team, which visited the affected areas, consisted of Ashok Gupta, Reshma Vohra, Kamal Thakar, Tapan Dasgupta, Yusuf Shaikh, Shaukat Indori, Trupti Shah, Hamida Chandol, Sabiha Hakim, Naginbhai Patel and Hardik Rana. A copy of the report, submitted to the NHRC, was also submitted to Gujarat home department and the DIG, Gujarat.

Comments

TRENDING

NYT seeks UN intervention, says: Modi turning autocratic, talks absurd on Kashmir

By Our Representative
In what appears to be a scathing reply to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much-publicized “New York Times” (NYT) article on Mahatma Gandhi titled “Why India and the World need Gandhi”, NYT’s powerful editorial board has said, Modi “didn’t address” the Kashmir issue in his United Nations (UN) speech, calling his assertion at the Houston rally a few days – that revoking the constitutional clause on Kashmiri autonomy meant “people there have got equal rights” with other Indians – “absurd”.

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Cess for Gujarat construction workers: Spending less than 10%; no 'direct help' to beneficiaries

By Our Representative
While the Gujarat government’s Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, set up in 2004, as of March 31, 2019, has collected a total cess of Rs 2,097.62 crore from the the builders, it has spent less than 10% -- Rs 197.17 crore. And, as on May 31, 2019, the total cess collection has reached Rs 2,583.16 crore, said a statement issued by Bandhkam Majur Sagathan general secretary Vipul Pandya.
Pointing out that just about 6.5 lakh out of 20 lakh workers have been registered under the board, Pandya said, vis-à-vis other states, Gujarat ranks No 13th in the amount spent on the welfare of the construction workers, while 11th in the amount collected.
And while the builders are obliged to pay just about 1% of the total cost of their project, the calculation of the cess is flawed: It is Rs 3,000 per square yard; accordingly, Rs 30 per square yard is collected. “Had the cess been collected on the real construction cost, it would have been at least Rs 7,000 cr…

Why nobody objected to Gautam Gambhir, Sunny Deol in t-shirt, jean?: Activists

By Our Representative
Mimi Chakraborty and Nusrat Jahan’s excitement on their first day as MPs was overshadowed by a barrage of sexism over their ‘non- sanskari’ outfits, a group of civil society activists have said in a statement. According to Aarushi Nigam, Divya Kaushik, Riya Sharma, Ruman Ganguly, and Anulekha Agarwal, both Bengali actors and first-time MPs "were certainly excited to take them on when they posted pictures from their new workplace on social media."
Hit by misogynistic comments, the activists say, "Their choice of workwear – jeans and a white button-down shirt for Mimi, a wine-coloured peplum suit for Nusrat – was the first and last word on their political competence for many."
“You’re not on vacation”, “they have mistaken Parliament for Kolkata’s Nicco Park or City Centre”, “this is not a photo studio, this is a place where you should fight for people’s rights and legislate”, “keep some respect towards your Bengali society” were some of the &quo…

132 Gujarat citizens, including IIM-A faculty, others declare solidarity with Kashmiris

Counterview Desk
A week after it was floated, 132 activists, academics, students, artists and other concerned citizens of Gujarat, backed by 118 living in different parts of India and the world, have signed a "solidarity letter" supporting the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), who, it claims, have been silenced and held captive in their own land. The signatories include faculty members and scholars of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.