Petitions to NCM, NHRC on rounding up of Muslims in Mumbra

By Staff Reporter,

New Delhi: Civil Rights activist Shahzad Poonawala has written to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) and National Human Rights Commission on the ‘combing operation’ in Mumbra, a suburb of Thane, where about 80 Muslim men were rounded up and illegally detained late night.

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On March 13, between 1.30-2.00 a.m., about a dozen police vehicles, of which 7-8 were big vans, quietly reached Rasheed Compound when the electricity, of the streets, were cut off.

Detained men

Rasheed Compound is a group of seven predominantly Muslim residential buildings.

They ‘detained’ over 80 Muslim men- working professionals, old people, some asas old as 75 years, workers, students going to high schools to graduate students and took them all to the Mumbra Police Station to ‘verify’.

The ‘combing operation’ was conducted under ACP Amit Kale of Thane district. About 200 odd policemen, and two ladies constables joined the operation in which the police broke many doors to search the house and take the male folks into ‘detention’.

Expressing shock and dismay on the incident, Poonawala termed it illegal and insensitive and compared it with the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany. He wrote in the letter, “Clearly, this illegal and unlawful rounding up and detention of innocent, law abiding Muslims by the local police smacks of the deep seated bias, prejudice and stereotype that exists amongst the Police officials and is evidence of communal modus operandi of the local police.”

He urged both the NCM and NHRC to conduct an independent enquiry and demand a comprehensive explanation from the Maharashtra Police and Home Department, and punish the erring police personnel involved.

Residents of Rashid Compound and surrounding area are shocked by this act of the police and they are distressed and unhappy with this. Most of the prominent citizens including public representatives of the city consider this act of the police as irresponsible.

In this operation young Urdu poet Obaid Azam Azmi was also taken to the police station. He is not only a good poet of Urdu language, who has shared dais with many ministers, senior police officials, including Khalid Qaisar, TK Chaudhary and many, (the central government recognizes his brilliance), but he is also a son of an ex-Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Member (MLA) Shaikh Shameem Ahmad, elected from Byculla in 1980.

Detained people were released following intervention of Mumbra MLA Jitendra Awhad of NCP. Local Muslim organizations have protested police highhandedness.


Police “combing operation” in Mumbra shocks residents