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[Police Harassment Of Anti-CAA Protester] NHRC Takes Serious Note Of Telangana DGP's Non Responsive Attitude; Issues Conditional Summons [Read Order]

3 Oct 2020 4:33 AM GMT
[Police Harassment Of Anti-CAA Protester] NHRC Takes Serious Note Of Telangana DGPs Non Responsive Attitude; Issues Conditional Summons [Read Order]
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Taking serious note of the "non responsive attitude" of the Director General of Police, Telangana, the National Human Rights Commission has asked him to remain personally present before it in connection with alleged harassment of an anti-CAA protestor, by senior police officials in the state.

The Commission has issued conditional summons u/s 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, after the DGP failed to submit the requisite report, as sought for by the Commission, back in January this year.

The Commission noted that it had taken cognizance of the matter on January 22, 2020 and had called for Action Taken Report from DGP, Telangana. However, no report was received. Thereafter, vide proceedings dated May 12, 2020 last opportunity was given to the DGP to submit the requisite report but the same has not been received till date.

In this backdrop it observed,

"Despite giving last opportunity no report has been submitted till date. The Commission takes a serious note of this non responsive attitude. Let be issued against the DGP Telangana. He is directed to personally appear before the Commission on 01.02.2021 at 11 am along with the requisite report."

However, it is clarified that if the requisite report is received in the Commission a week prior to the scheduled date then his personal appearance shall stand dispensed with.

NHRC had taken cognizance on a complaint by Amnesty member named Mohammad Abdul Mujeeb, alleging harassment by senior police officials against a person who was protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA) in the state of Telangana, in January this year.

Mujeeb claimed that he was intimidated and threatened over a phone call by the Inspector Special Branch after carrying out a peaceful protest rally in Karimnagar on December 22. The next day he was summoned before the Commissioner, who did not address his grievance, and later again summoned before the Inspector at the concerned Police Station. This inspector, later joined by the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), conducted closed door counselling sessions with Mujeeb.

These sessions reportedly cast aspersions on the nature of protests, questioned the leanings of protestors towards the ideology of Jinnah, told the complainant to hurl abuses at Jinnah to prove his status as an Indian, and involved explanations of CAA. At the end of the explanation, Mujeeb alleged that he was asked to accept to police's explanation of the legislation if he were a 'true Indian'.

In light of a newspaper report detailing this complaint, lawyers Bilal Khan and Anshu Kapoor moved the NHRC on behalf of Mujeeb. They urged that the complainant was merely exercising his Fundamental Right under Article 19(1)(b) whereas the allegations against the police were serious.

The Karimnagar police had, however, outrightly rejected these claims.

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