Mumbai: Islamic preacher says police pulled beard, insulted him over religion

An Islamic preacher has approached the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) alleging that an Assistant Police Inspector of the Kasara police station had pulled his beard, abused him over his religion and snatched away Rs. 1.5 lakh in cash from him in February before implicating him and his brother in a gutka seizure case.

Kalim Shaikh, 38, who also has a building material supply business, said he was at his brother Salim’s home in Kurla on February 11, having come from Vasai for a business transaction. At around 3 am, police persons who said they were from the Kasara police station, had inquired for his brother Ibrahim who lives in Gujarat. Before he could give them his brother’s contact number, his complaint states, they forcibly entered the house and pulled down Salim who was asleep on the upper floor by the neck and started inquiring about Ibrahim, while mercilessly beating him. The brothers were then taken in a private car, he says. On the way to the police station, the police pulled his beard and used foul words over his religion and also snatched away Rs. 1.5 lakh from him that he had brought to pay a business contact.

The complaint further states that the police compelled them to engage a lawyer by signing a vakalatnama and warned them not to complain about ill treatment to the magistrate before whom they were produced. Kalim contends that a truck from which gutka worth Rs. 46 lakh was seized stands in the name of his brother Ibrahim. His brother has nothing to do with the seizure and had rented it out, he says. While in police custody between 11 and 14 February he alleges they were mercilessly beaten.

To the SHRC in his complaint filed on April 6, he said his human rights have been violated and that necessary action be taken against the API Ganesh Mali, who was part of the police team. He does not know the names of the other policemen.

On February 26, the brothers were released on bail. “They told us we look like Bangladeshi and did things they should not have done. I have made the complaint so that they don’t do it with anyone else,” said Kalim. He has also written to the Minorities Commission, the CM and higher ups in the Thane police.

API Mali when contacted said that the allegations are false and are being made because the police busted their illegal business and are going after their accomplices.

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