With the rising ‘illegal’ police action and growing surveillance against the residents of Jamia Nagar, New Delhi, the residents organised a citizen’s march under the aegis of Association Protection for Civil Rights (APCR) on Feb. 26. Quite a large number of people gathered at the local police station, the starting point of the rally, and marched towards Khalilullah Masjid, taking a round of the locality via, Jamia Millia Islamia, Batla House Chowk, Zakir Nagar and Joga Bai.
Addressing the rally, APCR Secretary for Delhi Zone, Syed Akhlaq Ahmad said, “Police, which is essentially for people’s safety and protection of civil rights, is the biggest violators in this area. Instead of protecting citizens’ rights, these forces are terrorising them.”
Referring to various guidelines set by Supreme Court of India, he said, “People should be made aware about their rights, so that they may come out to protect their own civil rights,” adding “while this march is organised to register our protest, one of the main reasons behind this is also to sensitise people and make them aware of their rights.”
“No one is allowed to take the law into his own hands; either police or common people and every person has the right to protect himself from illegal detention,” said Adv. Feroz Gazi. Others who addressed the march included Engineer Muhammad Saleem, National Secretary Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and activist Musharaff Hussain.
In the last few weeks, various illegal police actions in different names have been alleged by the local residents. According to some senior activists, the Police have turned Jamia Nagar into a happy hunting ground, sometimes picking up people in the name of cracking an auto lifting case; at other times, rounding up poor workers from Bihar and Bengal accusing them of being illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. The tragedy is that policemen themselves violate the guidelines set by the Supreme Court and do not come in their uniform and their name tags, which is why it becomes very difficult to know the whereabouts of the detainee.
The case of students being randomly called into the police station and asked to give their finger prints, which are fed into the police computer records, has also been reported in the last few weeks. The surge of illegal activities of the police has raised many suspicions and it does not, at all, augur well for the residents of the area.