Buldana district Muslims fearing police raids

By Abdul Hameed, TwoCircles.net,

Mumbai: The Muslims in Khamgaon city of Buldana district in Maharashtra have lived in continued fear for the last three days of police raids at their houses at any time.

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On December 29 a police team led by DSP Ravindra Mishra raided Janta General Store owned by Farooq Bhaimani in Khamgaon city while conducting search for illegal gas cylinders on a tip-off. The general store is located in Junafel area Khamgaon. With nothing in hand after the search for cylinders the police team reportedly intruded four Muslim houses near the general store.

The population of Khamgaon city is estimated to be 1, 75,000, of which 35,000 are Muslims.

Haji Muhammad Sharif Abdul Ghaffar, owner of one of the four houses raided by the police, told TwoCircles.net: “After the raid on general store of Farooq, at nearly 2 pm on December 29, the police raided four nearby houses of Muslims; one of them was mine. I was not present at home. There were only my wife Salma Bano and my daughter-in-law who has recently delivered a baby and her elder child. All the women were in Hijab.’

When Salma asked the police team as to why they had entered their house the female members of the police threatened her and asked her to remain silent. They said they were investigating whether her husband was conducting an illegal business of gas cylinders, Haji Sharif told TCN. He said he had nothing to do with the business. Haji Sharif does business of goats. He added that the raid had defamed him in the society and people have started talking various things about him.

Haji Sharif has reportedly lodged a complaint with state Director General of Police K N Roy and sent its copies to state Home Minister Jayant Patil, state human rights commission, DIG of Amravati and DSP of Buldana.

Haji Sharif is the only person among the four who dared to file complaint. Others are fearing police backlash if they did so.