We, the undersigned members of The Moderates, are shocked at the conduct of the Bhiwandi traffic police with Bilal Abdul Qadir Shaikh. According to newspaper reports, on May 2, he broke a signal and refused to pay a bribe of Rs 200 demanded by two traffic constables. His daring to argue with them so angered the police that they abused and assaulted him on the road, and then in the Kongaon police station in Kalyan, so savagely that it resulted in permanent damage to his arm. No sooner was he out of hospital on May 14, with instructions of complete rest for four weeks, than the police slapped another charge on him, under Sec 333 IPC (voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty), ensuring that Shaikh was sent straight to jail. Though an FIR was registered against the police, they were immediately released on bail and are back on duty. They have not even been suspended.
This isn't the first time a Muslim has been first assaulted and then implicated in a false case by the Maharashtra police. Severe indictments by judicial commissions headed by judges of the stature of Justice D.P. Madon and Justice B.N. Srikrishna, detailing the anti-Muslim mindset of the Maharashtra police, seem to have had no effect on their conduct. Unless their political masters make it known that such conduct will be punished, the police are unlikely to change. We demand that the constables be suspended and an inquiry be held into the entire episode.
A. Faizur Rahman & others,