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Citizens for Justice and Peace

12sep13

08, May 2017


September 12, 2013
Press Release

Petition Against Dhule Police
Atrocities Admitted

The Supreme Court
issued notice and admitted a petition filed by Rais Ahmad Daulat
Patel, father of Saud Patel shot down by the Dhule police on January
6, 2013 demanding a CBI probe into the unlawful killings,
prosecution of the guilty police officers involved as also Stringent
Operation Procedures for Recruitment to ensure the independent and
non-partisan functioning of the Maharashtra police. The Mumbai-based
Citizens for Justice and Peace are also co-petitioners in
Writ petition (Crl) 143/2013 as also other eye-witnesses and
residents of Dhule. The Petition specifically also prays for the
implementation of a well-crafted Hate Crimes Manual that deals with
the institutionalized prejudice against religious minorities, Dalits,
Adivasis and women within our police that specifically deters its
non-partisan functioning. The petition also seeks more accountable
compensation and reparation to the dead, injured and those whoÂ’s
homes have been destrored. 

The petition came
up before Justices Surinder Singh Nijjar and Fakkir Ibrahim
Kalifulla on September 10. Advocate Aparna Bhat with Ramesh
Pukhrambam appeared for the petitioners. Due to the public outcry,
the state government had been compelled to suspend two Police
Constables after going through the Interim Report submitted by the
Deputy Superintendent of Police for misconduct during the curfew but
repeated attempts, all through February 2013,  by survivors to
register a complaint  against the police were repeatedly refused on
the spurious ground that the Police had already registered two FIR
of the riots and the same is being investigated by the Police. The
Police have registered two FIRs for riots against 2 Hindus and 4
Muslims and about 2000-3000 unknown persons but no police officer
has been named in the FIRs. The Petitioner No.1 and other victims
had specifically demanded investigations against the Police
Personnel for their involvement in the riots but the same were
refused.

 

On January 6,
2013, the lackadaisical attitude of the Dhule police in acting
Swiftly to defuse tensions after a brawl over a payment of a hotel
bill  between members of two communities, in communally
sensitive Dhule had blown out of all proportion with sections of the
police siding with Hindu rioters and shooting (to kills) innocent
Muslims. Video clips taken on the  spot, shamefully record this
shooting as also policemen destroying and plundering homes and shops
of the minority community.

 

On,
8.02.2013,
       6 Police Personnel out of which four State
Reserve Police

(SRP)
personnel and two police constables police were arrested on charge

of
breaking open and looting a stall during the Dhule riots of January
6,

have been
charged with theft and dishonestly breaking open property

under
Sections 380 and 461 of Indian Penal Code. However no action has

been taken
by the State to register an FIR against the Police Personnel for

the riots
and murder of 6 people and attempt to murder of about 40 people.

 

The
petitioners have stated in the substantive petition that:-

 

a)       A
magisterial probe and a Judicial Inquiry had been ordered into the

incident
but both are proceeding at a snailÂ’s pace, petitioners have urged.

The
HonÂ’ble Supreme Court in the case of Anju Chaudhary versus State of

UP and
another reported in 2012(12) SCALE 619 that in cases where

The
incident is separate, offences are similar or different or even
where the

subsequent
crime is of such magnitude that it does not fall within the ambit

and scope
of the FIR recorded first, then a second FIR could be registered;

 

b)      
That the Police Personnel were actively involved in the riots and
instigated the riots. The Police personnel instead of maintaining 
the law and order had instigated the communal riots between the
Hindu and the Muslim community where the Muslim people were targeted
and led to open firing without any warning. They ought to be charged
for offences under relevant sections of the CrPC and Indian Penal
Code;

 

c)      
That the violence could have been prevented, if the Police has
chosen to act on time, instead it asked the complainants and other
people to take the law in their hands further instigated and created
an environment of communal disturbance; 

d)      

That the police action was selective and directed against the
Muslims community only. More so the Police Personnel chose to act in
connivance with the Hindus to attack the Muslims. The Police
alongwith the Hindus looted their shops, houses, burned down their
homes and open fired at them which resulted in killing of 5 Muslims
and injuring more than 40 Muslims. The medical record  and videos
clearly show that the firing was specifically directed towards
Muslims;

e)       That as per the Rules and guidelines governing the Police
personnel, the Police were directed to use minimal force and to
disburse the crowd. However the Police instead started firing with
intent to kill the Muslim.  All the gunfire, as seen from the
medical records are above knee, on chest, shoulders, some were shot
at back which suggest that they were running away from the police
but the police still chose to shoot them;

f)         That though the State has accepted that the
Police firing was excessive but the State has not accepted that the
same was directed towards killing of Muslim People and was part of a
greater conspiracy. It is further submitted that no FIR has been
registered against the Police for the said act;

g)         That the victims of police firing were left
unattended by the police and were not taken to hospitals.  That the
victims were taken to hospitals by their relatives or friends. That
there was serious and severe negligence and tack of responsibility
displayed by the Dy. Divisional Police officer, Dhule by filing
false complaint at Azadnagar Police Station, Dhule in CR No 05/2013
in r/o riots at Dhule on 6-1-2013;  That there was serious
dereliction of duty and neglect of Constitutional obligation
committed by the District Magistrate, Dhule by not filing FIR on
receiving complaints from victims and witnesses to riots erupted at
Dhule on 6-1-2013;

h)         That the injuries suffered by the police
personnel and the Hindus were minor in nature and they were
discharged from the hospital after giving first aid treatment. This
shows that the police personal were biased towards one section of
Indians, the Muslim and the Muslims community have been targeted by
them. The act of the police was highly gruesome and insensitive;

i)          That the burning and looting of Muslim
household and shops was done by the Hindu mobs in the presence and
with assistance of the police personnel. From the video footage
obtained it is clear that Police also indulged in burning Muslim
houses and destroying their property;

j)          That Fire Brigade was not allowed to come
to the Muslim locality to douse the fire;

k)         That the victims were also threatened when they
tried to register FIRs and no FIRs were registered against the
police;

l)          That no criminal action whatsoever has been
taken against the police and none is likely to be taken as the State
authorities are trying to cover up this entire episode;

m)       That inadequate and insufficient compensation has been
paid and/or being paid to the victims and their relatives aggrieved
by the riots erupted at Dhule on 6-1-2013;That inadequate and
insufficient investigations have been carried out by the local
administration of Dhule in violation of section 3 and 4 of the
prevention of damage to the Public Properties Act and Section 7 of
the Criminal Law Amendment while investigation the CR No. 05/2013
with respect of riots at Dhule report on 6-1-2013 have been kept
secret. That there is also the matter of violation of Section 6 and
7 (8) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 by the Dy. Supdt Police,
Dhule, while rejecting application under RTI Act 2005  by the
Victims;

n)         That while the establishment of a Judicial
Commission was announced little has been done to pursue it
efficiently.

 

The
petition makes some fundamental points:- 

That repeatedly
Judicial Commissions established from 1960s onwards have observed
and commented about the biased role of the police in communal
violence. Madon Commission Report, Shrikrishna Commission Report,
Reddy Commission Report are illustrative of this fact. However the
bias role of the police is still continuing without a check.
 

That a large
part of the problems concerning the functioning of the police
arises due to the failure of the State authorities to provide
adequate sensitisation and training concerning communal bias as
well as violence both prior to and after induction of candidates
into the police force.  The Petitioners crave leave to present the
Guidelines for Communal Harmony etc brought out by the Central
Government (Ministry for Home Affairs) that are meant to address
these tendencies but have been ignored in Maharashtra.
 

That it is
absolutely essential to bring out a best practise and worst
practise manual in times of communal violence to guide the police
and hold them accountable against the dos and donÂ’ts of such a
manual.

 


Teesta Setalvad, Secretary


Other Trustees:  

I.M. Kadri,                Nandan Maluste      

Cyrus Guzder        Javed Akhtar                       
Alyque Padamsee
Anil Dharker          Ghulam Peshimam  
        Rahul Bose                            
               

Javed Anand         Cedric
Prakash

 


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