UP police accused of thrashing Muslims, vandalism and burglary

NEW DELHI: A team of police allegedly thrashed Muslims, vandalised and looted their houses in the Taprana village of Shamli district in Uttar Pradesh. They also arrested nearly three dozen people from the locality.

The residents claim that the police did not even spare women. They accused the cops of misbehaving with the women. Recounting the horror, a woman victim of the police brutality, said in an interview to clarion, a digital media outlet, that they abused and asked them to stand aside while they went on smashing household items. “I was alone as my husband was not home at the time. This did not deter them from banging and damaging our house,” she said.

Some victims whose homes were ransacked in the raid accused the police of loot and plunder. At least three people claimed that the police stole the money they had saved in cash at their homes. One villager alleged that the police stole cash worth over Rs 1 lakh from their locker. A woman alleged that they stole Rs 5,000 from her house. She said the police hit her with sticks.

Even as the police stand accused of vandalism and burglary, rights activists based in Shamli said that the police booked scores of villagers on charge of attacking the cops.

According to reports, the police party had gone to the village to arrest a man named Afzal who was accused of cow slaughter and had returned home after the lockdown was relaxed. During the raid, the cops confronted the locals. Reports, citing police version, said that three cops were injured during the encounter with the villagers.

But a Shamli based lawyer Akram Chaudhary said that the accused was not wanted, but the police still went to arrest him. The villagers confronted the police and tried to stop the detention of Afzal.

The village pradhan (elder) Anwar told the police to make a retreat and promised them that he would handover Afzal to them at the police station. According to Javed, resident of neighboring village, Anwar kept his promise and took Afzal to the station. But, he said, Police had already made its plan and in the night they descended on to the village with around 15 vehicles including Armed Personnel Carriers even before Anwar and Afzal would reach the station.

According to a report in Urdu language-daily Inquilab, Muslim organisation Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind has written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and urged him to ensure justice in the matter.

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