Kheda Flogging Victims Seek Justice, HC Issues Notice To Cops

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Kheda Flogging Victims Seek Justice, HC Issues Notice To Cops

| Updated: October 21, 2022 16:58

A division bench of the Gujarat High Court issued notice to state authorities including police personnel who were allegedly involved in the public flogging of Muslim men in Undhela village of Kheda district following a stone-pelting incident during Navratri earlier this month.

Senior Advocate I H Syed, on behalf of the petitioners, stated before the bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice A J Shastri,“The policemen themselves made the videos and put them on social media. In a police van, they (the flogging victims) were brought from the police station, each person was taken out, beaten and was then put in the police vehicle, in full public view, this is what happened. This is a complete violation (of Supreme Court guidelines for police while making detentions and arrests).” The bench issued notice to 15 respondents, returnable on December 12.

According to the petitioners: Jahirmiya Malek (62), Maksudabanu Malek (45), Sahadmiya Malek (23), Sakilmiya Malek (24) and Shahidraja Malek (25) said the men were publicly flogged by police on October 4. They have moved the High Court against 15 police personnel — the offices of IG (Ahmedabad range) and Kheda SP, 10 Constables of Matar police station and the local crime branch (LCB) at Kheda, an Inspector of the LCB, and two Sub Inspectors.

The petitioners have sought that the police personnel be “punished for contempt and non-compliance” of the directions issued by the Supreme Court in the case of D K Basu versus the State of West Bengal where it provides for guidelines to be followed by police during arrest and detention. They have also sought adequate compensation for the flogging victims.

The petitioners have said that at around 11 pm on October 3, a quarrel, arising out of garba festivities, took place in Undhela village in Matar taluka of Kheda district after the arrival of the Matar MLA, Kesarisinh Solanki, and his entourage. Thereafter, 11 police personnel, who have been named as respondents in the petition, reached the site and detained “innocent persons including the petitioners”.

Also Read: Fear Rules This Gujarat Village After Public Flogging Of Muslims

According to the petitioners, at around 2 am, the police personnel also entered the house of a woman named Maksudabanu (one of the petitioners) without ensuring the presence of a woman constable. Maksudabanu, the petition alleged, was beaten by one of the policemen, leaving her injured.

The petitioners said they were taken to the SOG police station in Kheda and kept under detention for the night.

As per the petitioners, the petitioners and five others were brought to the Masjid chowk in Undhela around noon on October 4, tied to a pole in the middle of the chowk and beaten with a lathi by 13 police personnel before a crowd. Videos were recorded and circulated in the public domain.

The petitioners have alleged that their request to be taken to a hospital after the beating was “outrightly rejected” by the police personnel involved in the flogging.

They were taken to Matar police station and were formally shown as arrested at 9.15 pm on October 4, according to petitioners. They said they were presented before a magistrate at 2 pm on October 5.

The petitioners have also submitted that at the time of being produced before the magistrate’s court, “the MLA of Matar constituency had arrived at the court with 200 other persons who then indulged in sloganeering during the production of the petitioners”.

Also Read: Village In Kheda Tense After Garba Clash

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