Hyderabad: Traumatized after spending three-and-half months in prison on charges of alleged cow slaughter, three minors including two sisters of Khatauli area in Muzaffarnagar district have come out on bail. When thousands of criminal cases pending against politicians including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were being withdrawn a few months back, three minors were arrested and sent to jail meant for adult criminals when they should have been sent to a juvenile home.
One girl was below 13 years and other nearing her 17th years were arrested along with their mother and four other relatives including a minor boy on 29th December 2017 on the charges of cow slaughter and attack on the raiding police team. The girls, along with their mother Shehzadi, a 15-year-old cousin, uncle Shehzad Ahmad, their two aunts Afsana and Reshma– and their neighbor Mohd Ashfaq along with his son Mehtab were arrested.
Though they had received bail on charges of attempt to murder alleging they attacked police personnel in February, the lower court refused to grant them bail in the cow slaughter case. The Allahabad high court then on March 27 granted bail in the cow case too, finally ending their incarceration.
As per their Aadhaar cards one girl was born in January 2001 and other in January 2005, however in the FIR, the police wrote their age as 21 and 19 respectively and presented them as adults in the normal court. Though they showed their Aadhaar cards that attest their age, officers had then said they “guessed” the girls were adults by their “physical appearance”.
Since the day the two minor Muslim girls were arrested and sent to a normal jail three months back, their family had been running from pillar to post showing their Aadhaar cards to officials to prove they are minors and should not be kept in the normal jail, but none heard them, nor did the lower court grant them bail. After spending full three months in the Muzaffarnagar jail, they came out of the prison Saturday evening after the Allahabad High Court granted them bail.
On Friday morning, Khatauli police had arrested nine persons, including the two girls and three women, for alleged slaughter of cows. Cops also claimed to have seized 10 quintals of meat and butchering implements from a house. Four other accused fled the scene, police had said. Two other women are among those arrested.
According to Times report, the girl said “we would not even go out of our house to play. But we were simply thrown into prison on charges of cow slaughter and attempt to murder. We did not understand what was going on. We still get scared when we remember that morning when we were taken to prison.” “We looked at our elders and saw that they were equally terrified when the police came to our house that day,” said the younger girl.
Further explaining the trauma, she said “we were kept in the women’s section of the jail. We were either sitting or lying down on the floor the whole day. Time seemed to have stopped,” said the elder sister, as the younger sibling stood silently beside her. Family members of the girls also expressed concern about their marriage due to the arrest, even as the girls insisted that they want to study.
Speaking with Times, the elder sister said “if we had education, we could have argued with police and told them that our arrest was illegal.”
“I was the only one in our family who was not put behind bars and hence I could pursue their bail pleas,” said Hafiz Haseen, the girl’s uncle.
Siasat Web Team