Popular Front Condemns Police Harassment of Muslim Youth in Pune

By Pervez Bari, TwoCircles.net,

Bhopal: Popular Front of India, (PFI), has strongly condemned the harassment of Muslim youths and their families by the police in Pune.

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A press release issued by K.M. Shareef, General Secretary PFI, said the current series of police harassment started with the arrest of 8 popular front cadres along with Sadiq Qureshi, Maharashtra State convenor of Popular Front while they were carrying a poster campaign demanding punishment for the culprits of the Babri Masjid demolition. The Poster Campaign was conducted by Popular Front all over India and it was an exercise of the democratic right. While the poster campaign was carried out in all states, it was only in Pune in Maharashtra state that the poster campaign was received with such negative reaction by the police.

Shareef said though Sadiq was bailed out by the court on the next day but the police kept on arresting him through different station. His sister was also detained for inquiry during which the police used abusive language. The police carried or numerous searches at Mr. Sadiq’s residence without search warrant and confiscated his personal documents. During the search the police also abused the family by calling them anti-national and terrorists and asked the neighbours to boycott the family.

The release pointed out that the harassment is not limited to Sadiq and his family only but also to many other Muslim youths in his locality. The Pune police have been continuously harassing the Muslim youths after this incident. Houses are being continuously raided and the Muslim neighbourhood is terrorized in such a way as if they have committed very severe offences. When some leaders of local organizations and political parties like SDPI intervened in the issue, the police started to target them by continuously asking them to come to police station for enquiry.

The attitude displayed by the police in Pune has only increased the feeling of insecurity already existing among Muslims in some parts of Maharashtra. It is surprising and also painful that a peaceful poster campaign demanding punishment to Sangh Parivar culprits amounts to criminal offence under the Congress-NCP secular government, the release stated.

Popular Front also demanded the Maharashtra state government to intervene in the issue and stop the harassment. Though Police bias is not new in Maharashtra, the Government must take immediate steps to avoid such police harassment incident happen again, the release added. ([email protected])