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Saharanpur court orders release of 8 accused of violence in the absence of proof

Police attempt to detain protestors during a demonstration over the controversial remarks by two now-suspended BJP leaders against Prophet Mohammad, after offering Friday prayers in Saharanpur, on June 10, 2022.

Police attempt to detain protestors during a demonstration over the controversial remarks by two now-suspended BJP leaders against Prophet Mohammad, after offering Friday prayers in Saharanpur, on June 10, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

The court of Saharanpur’s chief judicial magistrate ordered the release of eight, among the 62 arrested in connection with the violence that took place in the city on June 10. The court order, whose copy is with The Hindu, reads that the inquiry of the Investigation Officer (IO) against the eight accused, who were released by the court, was faulty and they were produced in the court without any proper reasons or evidence.

Mr. Babar Waseem, the lawyer representing the case told The Hindu that the judge, last Saturday, had ordered the release of eight of the people, among which four are seen in the video of the police thrashing that went viral on social media.

“Can you imagine that police thrashed these people so badly even when they had no proof against them? The cops have not listened to any of them even when they kept pleading not guilty and not having any role in the violence,” said Mr. Waseem.

The lawyer further added that the CJM, in his verbal observations, maintained that the police had no right to thrash the men in lockup and the act was truly dastardly.

Viral ‘return gift’ video

To recall, violence broke out in Sahranpur on June 10 as hundreds of people gathered outside the city’s main mosque after Friday prayers to protest against the remarks made against Prophet Mohammad by two former spokespersons of the BJP. As the protest turned violent, police lodged three different FIRs in the matter and named hundreds of residents, who they claimed were identified on the basis of CCTV footages.

Soon after the violence, a video of police brutality went viral that was first tweeted by MLA from Deoria, Shalabh Mani Tripathi. In the video, seven to eight men were seen being mercilessly thrashed by police inside a room. Tripathi wrote on his Twitter that the thrashing was a ‘return gift’ to the rioters.

Arrests without proof

“They claimed to have arrested my brother on the basis of CCTV footage but later they told the court that there was no proof against them. Is this is a joke going on?” asked Mohd Arif, brother of Mohd Asif, who was released on Sunday after spending 23 days in jail for the crime he had never committed.

Mrs. Shabana Ali, mother of 19-year old Mohd Kaif who was also released by the court, told The Hindu that three men from her family were arrested on June 10 and all were released in the absence of proof.

“My son is in trauma and is hardly talking. He spent so many days in jail for something he had never done. They had also arrested my brother-in-law Mohd Furkan and his son Abdul Samad. We have faced so much trauma and social boycott,” said Shabana.

Superintendent of Police, Saharanpur City, Mr. Rajesh Kumar told The Hindu that from among the 62 people arrested in connection with the violence of June 10, eight were released.

When asked about the inquiry he is conducting on the video of police thrashing in lockup, Mr. Kumar said that it is on-going and he has nothing concrete to share.

Apart from releasing eight people from the city, local courts in Saharanpur have so far given bail to eight people from Mirzapur (rural) and around 11 were given bail in Deoband.


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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 8:59:50 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/saharanpur-court-orders-release-of-8-accused-of-violence-in-the-absence-of-proof/article65600415.ece