By Muslim Mirror Staff
Twenty-eight-year-old Iliyas, who was returned home on 3 September after getting bail in two cases lodged against him in relation to February’s anti-Muslim violence in northeast Delhi, has revealed crucial facts about the hateful treatment of police personnel with him and other Muslims.
When the police arrested Iliyas in the first case, he was taken to Dayalpur police station, shown footage of mob violence taken from a CCTV camera and accused of being one of the men in the mob. When he vehemently denied his presence at the scene, he was clearly told by the police that if he could name 10 of the men in the video, he would be released immediately.
“Just as I started naming few Hindus in the video, the police asked me to name Muslims),” Iliyas was quoted by The Wire.
On March 17, 2020, he was arrested for allegedly vandalising Rajdhani Public School in Shiv Vihar (FIR 137/2020) during the anti-Muslim riots that took place in northeast Delhi this February. After he was granted bail in this case, he was arrested again on May 14, 2020, for allegedly vandalising and trespassing on the property of DRP Secondary School in Shiv Vihar.
“These were the ones asking for freedom? This is how they spoke to me and fellow Muslims at the police station,” Ilyas said, “They made my religion my crime”.
Iliyas’s lawyers Adhil Saifudheen and Lavkesh Bhambhani filed five bail applications for Iliyas over the five months he was in jail.
In fact, Saifudheen added, Iliyas does not have a prior criminal record and he is his family’s sole earning member. Yet, the courts seemed reluctant to grant him bail.
“Iliyas is just one of the many poor and innocent people who are detained by the Delhi Police in cases related to the riots,” said Lavkesh Bhambhani. “The real problem with these mass detentions is whether those detained are really given effective legal representation. If the answer to this question is in the negative, then even a single conviction among this stratum is a direct attack on the basic tenants of the Rule of Law.”
Notably, the Delhi Police have been accused by rights bodies and scores of human rights activists of supporting or doing nothing to stop the violence carried out by Hindu extremists in February. They have also alleged that the police have been cracking down on Muslims particularly those who protested against the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act on false charges related to the anti-Muslim violence.