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

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Tax buoyancy claims when less than 4% Indian dollar millionaires pay income tax

By Prasanna Mohanty  In FY18, the last year for which disaggregated income tax data is available, only 29,002 ITRs declared income above Rs 5 crore, while Credit Suisse said India had 7.25 lakh dollar millionaires (the wealth equivalent of Rs 8 crore and above) that year. Often enough, the Centre claims that demonetization in 2016 raised tax collections, improved tax efficiency, and expanded the tax base. Now RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member Ashima Goyal has also joined their ranks, attributing the “claims” of rising tax collections in the current fiscal year to “tax buoyancy” brought by the demonetisation . Do such claims have any basis in official records? The answer is unequivocal. The budget documents show the tax-to-GDP ratio (direct plus indirect tax) increased from 10.6% in FY16 (pre-demonetization) to 11.2% in FY17, remained there in FY18 (demonetization and GST fiscals), and then fell to 9.9% in FY20. In FY22, it improved to 10.8% and is estimated to drop to 10.7% in

Cyrus Mistry, PM Modi’s brother: What do these accidents have in common? Merc!

By Rosamma Thomas*  In September 2022, in an accident at Palghar near Mumbai, Cyrus Mistry, former chairman of the Tata Group, died in a road accident . On December 28, 2022, a road accident in Mysore left one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brothers injured. What is common in these accidents? The car that crashed into the divider on the road, in both these cases, was manufactured by “prestigious” German manufacturer Mercedes Benz. One former dealer of Mercedes Benz cars in India has been raising issues of the threat to the lives of those riding these cars for many years now. Cama Motors, among the oldest dealers of foreign cars, having started business in pre-independence India, noted over 10 years ago that Mercedes Benz was indulging in corrupt practices . The cars are currently priced between Rs 41 lakh and Rs 2.92 crore in India; few people realize that the pride of owning a Merc comes at considerable risk to life. Cama Motors carefully documented several of the flaws on a websi

Gandhian unease at Mahadev Desai book launch: Sabarmati Ashram may lose free space

By Rajiv Shah  A simmering apprehension has gripped the Gandhians who continue to be trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram: the “limited freedom” to express one’s views under the Modi dispensation still available at the place which Mahatma Gandhi made his home from 1917 to 1930 may soon be taken away. Also known as Harijan Ashram, a meeting held for introducing yet-to-be-released book, “Mahadev Desai: Mahatma Gandhi's Frontline Reporter”, saw speaker and after speaker point towards “narrowing space” in Gujarat for Gandhians (as also others) to express themselves. Penned by veteran journalist Nachiketa Desai, grandson of Mahadev Desai, while the book was planned to be released on January 1 and the meeting saw several prominent personalities, including actor-director Nandita Das, her scholar-mother Varsha Das, British House of Lords member Bhikhu Parekh, among others, speak glowingly about the effort put in for bringing out the book, exchanges between speakers suggested it should be rele

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen