DCP-level probe ordered

Activists have lamented that a poem written by an official of the Mumbai Police about the Azad Maidan riots which took place in August last year shows the insensitivity of the police force towards the minority community.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai Police Commissioner has ordered a DCP-level (Deputy Commissioner of Police) probe to look into how the poem written by woman inspector Sujata Patil was carried in the police magazine Samvad.

The poem carried in the November 2012 issue of the magazine described the accused as “snakes” and “traitors.” She had suggested that their hands be chopped off.

“To call it a poem is an insult to poetry. Poetry evokes good feelings within a human being. It is soft. This one incites violence,” human rights activist Ram Puniyani told The Hindu.

“It is a barometer of the mindset of the majority of police personnel today,” he said.

While talking about the possible causes of such insensitivity, he said the training imparted to the police personnel was to blame. “Just like there are problems about gender insensitivity, there are problems about sensitivity towards the minority communities,” he said.

“The training should make the police personnel more sensitive in general — towards women, towards the minorities,” Dr. Puniyani said.

Meanwhile, DCP Gholap has been entrusted with the inquiry into the publishing of the poem, Mumbai Police spokesperson Ambadas Pote told The Hindu.

Recently, an activist and an accused in the Azad Maidan riots case had written a complaint about the poem, seeking an FIR to be filed against the Mumbai Police Commissioner, Joint Commissioner of Police (Administration) and Inspector Sujata Patil, the lawyer for the complainants Ejaz Naqvi, said.

The woman inspector has already tendered an unconditional apology which will be carried in the next issue of Samvad.

“We are also going to write to the Press Council of India asking if this magazine is registered or is fake. We want an FIR against the publisher and printer as well,” Mr. Naqvi said.

He said his clients also intend to file a writ petition in the Bombay High Court seeking action against the police for their bias against the accused.

The complainants — Ameen Mustafa Idrisi and Nazar Mohammad Siddiqui — have written to various authorities complaining of the poem “inciting communal hatred against our community, passing derogatory remark against Muslims at large.”

The violence at Azad Maidan on August 11 last year led to the death of two protesters after a peaceful rally turned violent and mobsters burnt vans and damaged property.

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