“I was asked to perform sodomy,” 2 Muslim youth from Jharkhand allege ‘police torture’ in custody, demand action against accused policemen

Aurangzeb (Wearing a red T-shirt) and Aarzu (wearing a mask) during a press conference held to demand action against the accused policemen. | Photo by arrangement

Two Muslim youth from Jamshedpur in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand have accused police of ‘brutal torture’ and forcing them to have sex with each other while in police custody. The police admitted that the duo were called for interrogation in case of elopement of a Muslim boy with a Hindu girl, but denied the ‘torture’ allegations. The incident has sparked condemnation with Jharkhand Ekta Morcha demanding stern punishment against the accused policemen and sought the intervention of the chief minister Hemant Soren.

Sami Ahmad | TwoCircles.net

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JHARKHAND – Two young Muslim men Abdul Khalid alias Aarzu (25) and Mohammad Aurangzeb (30) had the most horrifying experience of their life on August 26 in Kadma police station in Jamshedpur city of the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. They are the residents of Block no 2, Shastrinagar, which falls under the same police station.

After he was released on the night of August 26, Mohammad Aurangzeb has this dreadful story to tell: “After both of us were beaten and tortured in the police station, Aarzu was asked to lay on the ground in the Munshi’s room. I was asked to pull his pants down. I thought they were asking me to show me his injuries. As I pulled down his pants, the policemen asked me do ‘sambhog’ (sodomy) with Aarzu. I started crying and told them to kill me but do not force me to do this Gunah (sin). I was told, ‘If you would not do this, he would do that to you.’ When I totally refused, I was beaten with boots on my face.”

This was allegedly done in the room of Munshi of the police station in the presence of Station House Officer (SHO) Manoj Thakur. Both Aurangzeb and Aarzu allege that seven other policemen including Sub Inspector Harshvardhan and Nitish Thakur were involved.

While SHO Manoj Thakur accepts that they were called for interrogation but denies the ‘torture’ allegations of the two and terms them false.

Aurangzeb alias Mister alleges that he was asked to say his name and when he replied ‘Mohammad Aurangzeb’ the policemen told him that “Do you know that both were dead” using “abusive and objectionable words against our religion.”

They were told, “You will make this (country) like Taliban (did in Afghanistan). Have you seen the plight of Afghanistan? You will be sent there.”

Aurangazeb said that more than the physical torture it is the abuse and mental harassment and the use of Hindu-Muslim slurs that has hurt him the most. He said that after the incident he is unable to sleep properly. Both Aurangzeb and Aarzu are being treated for their injuries as they were hit by lathis and cricket wickets.

In an application addressed to the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), East Singhbhum, Jamshedpur, Aurangzeb and Aarzu have demanded justice and action against the police officers who were involved in this ‘inhuman act.’

SSP of East Singhbhum, Jamshedpur Dr M. Tamil Vanan told TwoCircles.net that his office has received the application from Aarzu and Aurangzeb. Dy. S.P. (Headquarter) has been asked to investigate the matter and submit a report on the allegations in three days. “As the Dy. S.P. had to go to court, his report is delayed,” he said.

SSP Vanan said that as soon as he would get the report, he would take action accordingly.

SSP Vanan also claimed that the two youths were picked because of their CDR (Call-Detail Record) which “suggested that they were in contact with the man who had eloped with a girl.” He contended that there was no complaint on the date of their release as they had signed the P.R. bond. “I would see the report of their injuries,” he said.

Kadma SHO Manoj Thakur said that the two were interrogated in connection with a case of the elopement of a Muslim man, who lives in the same area as the duo, with a Hindu girl from the nearby area of Dhatikdih on August 23. A third youth, the brother of the man who is accused of eloping with the girl, was also picked and allegedly beaten up.

While Aarzu was picked on the night of August 24, Aurangzeb was called to the police station on the morning of August 26.

The police told Aarzu’s family that he would be released soon but they kept him in custody for three days.

Talking to TwoCircles.net over the phone, Aarzu said that he works as an electrician while his father Khurshid Khan does tiles works. He said this was his first time inside a police station. While the police maintain that he was a close friend of the man who had eloped with a girl, Aarzu said that the accused person is “only an acquaintance and I do not know anything about the elopement.”

“Even if I were his friend, why should be I tortured for his elopement? How can I know about the location when I have no idea about his elopement,” Aarzu asks.

Aurangzeb said that a policeman asked the duo if they had taken the anti-Covid-19 vaccine. “I replied in affirmative,” Aurangzeb said, adding, “When Aarzu was asked the same question, he said he had not taken the jab and on hearing this the policemen verbally abused him asking him if Allah had told him not to take the vaccine and if he thought Allah will get angry if he had taken the vaccine jab?”

Aurangzeb told TwoCircles.net that he is in shock that no action has been initiated against the accused policemen yet.

“While releasing us, the police asked us to sign a paper on which was written that we were fine and there was nothing to complain about,” the duo said.

It was only after they signed the paper that they were released.

Aarzu said that while inside the police station his mobile phone was taken away by the police and “it was not returned till I was released.”

Following the allegations of police torture, there is a growing resentment in the community against the inaction of the administration even after five days since the duo were released.

It was after the intervention of the president of Jharkhand Ekta Morcha (JMM) Aftab Khan that the duo was released by the police.

Aftab Khan and Babar Khan of the ruling JMM said that the “victims are poor innocent men and have suffered beyond description.”

Talking to TwoCircles.net from Jamshedpur, Babar Khan said that there would be a sustained agitation like ‘effigy burning and human chain for action against the accused policemen.’

“We are also contemplating a complaint case against the erring policemen in the civil court if no action is taken by the administration. The issue will be raised with the chief minister Hemant Soren,” Babar Khan said.

Ashok Varma, the convener of Jharkhand Loktantarik Morcha, has announced to lead a fact-finding team to probe the matter.

He told TwoCircles.net that a fact-finding team will leave for Kadma on September 1.

Terming the incident as ‘most tragic,’ Varma said the “incident is an indicator of deteriorating communal harmony in the country,” adding, “Chief Minister Hemant Soren would be also contacted if proper action is not taken against the erring policemen.”

Meanwhile, some right-wing Hindu organizations are targeting Babar Khan and others who are fighting for justice for the duo. The right-wing groups are accusing Babar Khan of “protecting those who are involved in ‘Love Jihad’.”

For the two Muslim youth, only justice in the form of punishment to the accused policemen will satisfy them.

“We only want justice to be done and the culprits punished,” they said.