Detentions spark fear among Chand Bagh residents

A street in Chand Bagh where multiple detentions have taken place in the last three days.   | Photo Credit: Hemani Bhandari

“My brother was thrashed for hours before he was let off,” alleged Haji Bhure, standing at his grocery store in the Chand Bagh area in north-east Delhi. Released on Wednesday morning, Mushahid’s family sent him off immediately to their home town, Budaun in Uttar Pradesh.

The 35-year-old was picked up by police around 12 noon on Monday from the same store where his brother was attending to customers on Wednesday. “They came and picked up Mushahid without giving any reason. When we asked, they said they will release him after questioning about riots,” Mr. Bhure said. On Tuesday, another brother went to the Crime Branch office in Chanakyapuri and tried to reason with the officers that Mushahid was not in Delhi when the riots broke out (on February 23). “We made them talk to a relative in Budaun with whom Mushahid works. They finally released him,” said Mr. Bhure.

When contacted, senior officers of Crime Branch remained unavailable for comment on the incident.

Watch | Scene from Chand Bagh a day after violence

‘Beaten up in custody’

Mr. Bhure alleged that his brother was beaten up in custody. “He told us that they continuously slapped him and asked him if he knew who all were involved in the rioting. They showed photographs and asked him to identify the rioters,” he said.

Mr. Mushahid is not the only one who has been detained by the police from Chand Bagh in the last three days. At least nine persons have been picked up by Crime Branch officers since Monday from different streets of Chand Bagh. The Hindu spoke to the families of five of them.

Also read: Forensic team visits Chand Bagh to collect evidence

Among the detainees is a 50-year-old tailor, Abdul Kadir, who was picked up around 11 a.m. on Wednesday. His daughter Rukhsar said the police were looking for her brother Shahnawaz. “They came and asked for Shahnawaz. We told them Shahnawaz wasn’t at home. They took my father instead,” she said.

A neighbour, Shakeel Ahmed, said he had gone to meet the officers at the Crime Branch’s makeshift office nearby and was told that they should bring Shahnawaz for his father to be released.

“People here are living in tremendous fear, don’t know whose door the policemen will knock next,” said Mr. Ahmed.

In F Block’s street no. 8, policemen picked up Mohammed Yunus on Tuesday around 5 p.m. They had already detained his brother Mohammed Ayub by then.

‘Not released yet’

A relative of the brothers said their mother is inconsolable. “The policemen came looking for Yunus but he wasn’t home. When he came back, his mother gave him the number the officers had given. He called them and went out. He hasn’t returned since then and so hasn’t Ayub,” the relative said. “They say they’ll release them after questioning but they haven’t.”

Right opposite is street no. 8 of E-Block from where Aslam, 23, was picked up on Tuesday around 8 p.m. “Aslam sells vegetables in Azadpur Mandi. He was sleeping when the police came for him. At least they should tell the family what his crime is,” said his paternal uncle Haji Shah Jahan.

In the early hours of Monday, the police picked up three men — Habib, Usman and Yameen — from Nehru Vihar while they were guarding their locality, their families alleged. Their lawyer, Abdul Gaffar, said the police have slapped sections of rioting, obstruction of duty and “mischief by fire with intent to destroy house” against them and they have been sent to judicial custody.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 4:46:40 PM |

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