“He’s a hot-blooded boy, it happens,” said the family of the Muslim boy after he openly threatened to rape a girl alleges the family of the victim. The incident is of New Delhi’s Mohanpuri area in Maujpur where Hindu families live in 2-3 lanes surrounded by Muslims.
On 21 February 2020, when some were writing the blueprint of the riots which will take place in Delhi in few days’ time, a girl named Devanshi, who lived in Gali no. 8 (details changed to protect identity) took her pet dog for a walk. Mistakenly, she walks to dog till the turning of Gali no. 9 where dense Muslim locality begins. This was her biggest mistake as reaching the lane subjected her to abuses and threats of rape.
Speaking to OpIndia, Devanshi said that when she reached Gali no. 9, one Muslim boy, Sameer, who was already going somewhere on his bike, started abusing her. When Devanshi asked him to stop, Sameer said, “Don’t bring your dog to urinate here or rape you and cut you into four pieces.” In retaliation, she held her collar.
After the incident, Devanshi went back home and dialled 100 to file a complaint. PCR came and took Devanshi and her mother to Bhajanpura Police Station where they were made to sit for almost three hours. At around 10:30, IO Manoj Bhati took down the complaint but because of work overload, an FIR is not registered. Next day on 22nd February at 9 AM they were called to Bhajanpura police station. IO Manoj Bhati had gone to pick up Sameer based on Devanshi’s complaint. After two hours, when Devanshi sat at the station, Sameer’s family members along with more than 50 people from Muslim community reached the police station.
Devanshi tells OpIndia that SHO Bhajanpura, R S Meena changed his stand after a prominent member of Muslim community from the crowd met him. Earlier it was decided that an FIR will be registered on 22nd February. But now, they were pressurising the victim to ‘compromise’. Even after hours, an FIR was not registered.
Eventually on insistence of SHO Meena and IO Manoj Bhati when Devanshi agreed to compromise, then she was threatened with an FIR herself. In the Police station itself Sameer had confessed to having abused her and threatened her of rape in front of his family members and neighbours, as per Devanshi. When she saw Sameer smiling, Devanshi, however, decided against it. Now she was convinced that she was not wrong in holding Sameer’s collar on having received rape threat. ‘If I committed a crime by holding his collar, then file FIR on me as well but an FIR should be filed on my complaint too,’ she said. Speaking to OpIndia on phone, Devanshi further alleges that when she asked for a written copy of the complaint, IO Manoj Bhati threw it away in the dustbin in front of Sameer and his relatives.
On seeing this behaviour when Devanshi went to meet the ASP, the police removed her from the cabin as well. By 22nd February evening, she had already dialled 100 which was transferred to the same Bhajanpura police station. When she approached National Commission for Women (NCW), she was asked to reach out to the DCP office in Seelampur. Here, NCW directs Bhajanpura police station to file an FIR in her case.
At around 8 PM she again requested to file a complaint on the incident that took place on 21st February, a day prior. Here she is informed that while the FIR will be filed, a copy can be made available only at midnight. Devanshi says that they kept such a time thinking that perhaps she will back off if she is called in late at night in such a communally sensitive area. She further says that despite giving address details of Sameer, son of Sharafuddin, the details were missing in the FIR. Further, she says that instead of making it a case of rape threat and abuses, it is reported as a misbehaviour and harassment case.
According to Devanshi, when she insisted that the FIR includes details of the complaint filed, she was informed that the FIR is done as per instructions of IO Manoj Bhati. She was further informed that if she wants the details changed, she will have to approach the court. When she asked them to talk to her lawyer, they delay the matter for next day but the FIR copy is not changed.
When asked under whose pressure was the change in FIR being delayed, Devanshi, while speaking to OpIndia, said that while she went to the police station with just her mother, Sameer had come there with a mob of over 50 people including prominent Muslim residents of the area.
On 24th February 2020, Devanshi registered a complaint in DCP office in Seelampur. In her complaint to the DCP she stated that the FIR did not include her grievances. But nothing came out of it either.
On 24th February 2020, the northeast part of Delhi erupted in violence. Seelampur, Bhajapura, Maujpur and such areas were greatly affected during the riots. Devanshi stayed at home in hopes that the police will ensure she will get justice. While normalcy returned in the area after a few days, the Hindus in the area still lived in fear.
The fear is such that some of the Hindus are leaving their homes and putting them up for sale. On 9th March, someone from Bhajanpura Police station comes and gives a court notice where she is asked to go and give her statement at the Karkardooma Court. However, the FIR still has different details. When she calls up the police station, Sub-Inspector Kiran Kumari informed her that only the court can decide on it.
Devanshi says that on 18th and 19th March she went to the court with her mother and spent entire day sitting there but her statement was not taken. She was informed that the statements in the Delhi riots case were being registered on priority and other statements will be registered later.
After over a month of waiting for justice, Devanshi wrote to BJP MP Manoj Tiwari seeking action against Sameer Ahmed as well as SHO R S Meena and IO Manoj Bhati.
It has been three months since she wrote to BJP MP Manon Tiwari. Sameer Ahmed, who would smile at her triumphantly earlier, two weeks back threatened her again. Earlier he used to only stare at her and make her feel uncomfortable, but now he has went on to make threats again. “You B*K@#*(L, what has police done? Earlier I had only said, now I will make good of the threat. Police is in my pocket,” he threatened her, Devanshi says.
Devanshi now seeks action against Sameer Ahmed. “He knows me from childhood. We used to study in same school in different sections. In spite of that he is threatening me. Tomorrow he may actually do it. I want that what is in my complaint gets admitted in the FIR and action is taken against Sameer. Action should also be taken against those who sided with the perpetrator under pressure because they got bogged down by a Muslim crowd instead of the victim,” she says.
Meanwhile, while interacting with BJP MP Manoj Tiwari who had visited the area to talk to those eloping the area after the riots, Devanshi reminded him of the letter she wrote to him. Tiwari has promised to have a look into the matter.
Devanshi wants to ensure that no one should be allowed to roam freely like the way Sameer is after making rape threats to girls.
The above article was originally published on OpIndia Hindi website. You could read the article here.