Members of The Moderates
demanded from the Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to take
action against the erring policemen who first brutally beat up Bilal Shaikh and when he came out of
the hospital after 10 days
in ICU, was slapped with false charges and sent to jail.
members of The Moderates group - a forum of civil society
comprising of intellectuals cutting across the barriers of caste,
creed and religion, have also demanded enquiry into the
In a letter to the Chief Minister the members said: “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 4 weeks, that the
police slapped another charge on him, under Section 333 IPC
(voluntary causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his
duty), ensuring that Shaikh was sent straight to jail”.
“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 is unlikely to change”, the letter further said.
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, the letter pointed out.
“We demand that the constables be suspended and an inquiry be held
into the entire episode,” they said in the letter a copy of which has
also been sent to the Home Minister of Maharashtra, National Human
Rights Commission and National Commission for Minorities.
The signatories to the letter are: 1. Jyoti Punwani, 2. Subhashini
Ali, 3. Dolphy D’Souza, 4. Manisha Sethi, 5. Sukla Sen, 6. Deepa
Kurup, 7. Rebecca Kurian, 8. Dr. Bandukwala, 9. A. Faizur Rahman,
10. Shahid Ali Khan, 11. Ghulam Mohiyuddin, 12. Mohammad Imran,
13. Dr. Zaheer Ahmed Sayeed, 14. Pervez Bari and 15. Ghiasuddin