Gujarat HC issues notice to police, Bengal govt over ‘atrocities on Bengali Muslims’

The Gujarat High Court has issued notices to the city police and West Bengal government over a petition alleging that police commit atrocities on migrants belonging to the Muslim community from eastern states after accusing them to be illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.

The replies are to be filed by September 24, said Justice JB Pardiwal’s August 24 order which became available on Wednesday.

Apart from the West Bengal chief secretary, notices were issued to Gujarat Director General of Police P C Thakur, Ahmedabad Police Commissioner Shivanand Jha, the Special Operation Group (SOG) of the city police and the inspector of Danilimda police station here.

The HC was hearing a petition filed by five persons of Danilimda and Chandola Lake area here where Muslims migrants from eastern India live. It alleges that Muslims in the area are often branded as illegal migrants from Bangladesh and harassed or even tortured.

“The SOG personnel (from Juhapura police station) compel the Indian citizens like the petitioners to sign on blank papers and also give in writing that they are Bangladeshi citizens,” says the petition. It also alleges that police take men, women and children to police station and “sexual misbehaviour with women” is common.

Danilimda police station staff took away the petitioners’ identity proofs, it alleges. The petition seeks a restraining order prohibiting the SOG personnel from entering the settlement and harassing the people. The next hearing is on September 24.