Victim of hate-crime, Indore Muslim bangle-seller still in jail

Hyderabad: Taslim Chudiwala, who was beaten up and arrested for selling bangles in a Hindu locality has been jailed since August. His lawyer Ehtisham said that they will approach the high court for Taslim’s bail. “He is innocent and has been a victim of some people’s hatred,” he informed.

In June, while addressing an online interaction, Muzammil Imam, the brother of jailed Sharjeel Imam, JNU-scholar and anti-CAA activist quoted Sharjeel and said that there are thousands of innocent Muslims in jails who are waiting for justice, however, many of them are from very financially strained backgrounds and have no one to raise their voices for them.

“Sharjeel, Umar, Khalid Saifi, etc are lucky because they got highlighted by the anti-CAA protests,” added Muzammil.

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On September 2, an Indore Court rejected the bail application of the bangle seller who was assaulted by a group of men because of his religion. Within 24 hours of the purported incident of assault, the bangle-seller was booked for allegedly touching a 13-year-old girl inappropriately, among other offenses.

One Rakesh Pawar, the minor girl’s father is said to have filed the complaint. The applicant has been booked under Section 354, 354A, 467, 468, 471, 420 and 506 of IPC and Section 7 and 8 of the POCSO Act.

Filed through Advocate Ehtesham Hashmi, the bail application argues that the said complaint is filed based on a concocted and fabricated story without any factual basis, suppressing the actual facts. It is the petitioner’s case that the complainant was a part of the mob, and the applicant has filed a complaint against him and other persons for beating him mercilessly, and thus the present FIR is an attempt to frame him falsely.

Narrating the day’s incidents on which the applicant was assaulted, the application states that after being beaten, the mob destroyed his documents and stole a sum of Rs. 10,000/- from him. After that, when the applicant approached the police station, where the police refused to lodge his complaint. As the video of a mob assaulting the applicant had been widely circulated on social media, a large crowd gathered outside the police station demanding registration of FIR. It was only after that that the FIR was registered against the complainant and others.

The FIR against the bangle-seller narrates that he went to the complainant’s house and only upon showing his ID by Golu, son of Mohan Singh they believed him to be a ‘good person, and further engaged in buying bangles. When the complainant’s wife went inside her house to bring money, it is alleged that the applicant inappropriately touched the minor girl. The minor girl shouted on which a few neighbors and her mother came. On being questioned on his conduct, he allegedly threatened to kill them. He ran away, leaving behind his belongings which contained two Aadhaar Cards on his name- one stated him by the name Asleem, son of Mor Singh, and the other by Tasleem, son of Mohar Ali.

The bail application argues that: a) the said story as mentioned in the FIR is an afterthought to the applicant filing a complaint against the complainant and other; and b) if the applicant ran leaving his belongings behind, as mentioned in the FIR, how is he seen with his belongings in the video where he is being thrashed; (c) the audio of the video makes no mention of the minor girl and the alleged incident of molestation, instead they were asking his name repeatedly, and (d) the narration of facts made in the FIR does not disclose an offense under Sections 7 and 8 of the POCSO Act.

(With inputs from Live Law)

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