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3 Rohingya men sentenced to 10 years in jail for trafficking and raping 2 Rohingya women – FIR, case and links to Advocate Tahir Hussain Ruparya

Three Rohingya men identified as Mohammad Ayas, Hafeez Ahmed, and Mohammad Yunus were sentenced to ten years of rigorous imprisonment for trafficking two Rohingya women from Bangladesh to Nuh, Haryana, in 2021 and raping them.

On 30th January, three Rohingya men identified as Mohammad Ayas, Hafeez Ahmed, and Mohammad Yunus were sentenced to ten years of rigorous imprisonment for trafficking two Rohingya women from Bangladesh to Nuh, Haryana, in 2021 and raping them.

As the matter was related to Rohingya nationals, it was essential to dig deeper into the case to understand the background, where the accused lived, who represented them in the court and more.

FIR details

FIR was registered at City Nuh Police Station on 2 December 2021 under Sections 120B, 34, 342, 370 and 370A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Later, Sections 6 and 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act were added to the case as it was asserted that the victims were minors. However, when a medical test was done to determine the age of the victims, it was found that they were between the ages of 20-23. Hence, Sections 6 and 8 of the POCSO Act were removed, and Sections 376 and 354 of IPC were added.

Source: Haryana Police

As per FIR, police got information from reliable sources that two Rohingya women from Bangladesh were illegally brought into India in September. It was unclear who facilitated their entry into the country through the Mizoram/Kolkata routes. It was mentioned that both girls were charged Rs 25,000 for entry into India. Upon arriving in Kolkata, they were transported to Delhi by one Noor Kabir, son of a Rohingya identified as Mohammad Hasan residing in Shahpur Nangli Rohingya Camp.

Further investigation revealed that another Rohingya, identified as Mohammad Ayas, one of the convicts in the matter, brought the girls to Nuh district. Subsequently, they were kept hidden for five days in a house in the Ghaseda Police Station area. The matter took a shocking turn when Hafeez Ahmed, uncle of Ayas and second convict in the case, planned to sell girls for Rs 70,000 each in Kashmir.

During negotiations, Ahmed contacted the brother of one of the girls and told him he would release his sister if he paid him Rs 15,000. The brother was also living in a Rohingya camp in Hyderabad. He got concerned about his sister’s safety and paid Rs 15,000 to him in his bank account. However, Hafeez took a U-turn and did not release his sister.

Gurhasan was distraught by the situation and approached the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in Nuh. CWC immediately got into action and recovered both girls on 30th September 2021. They were shifted to an orphanage in Taawdu under Sadar Police Station in Nuh. The FIR was registered on the complaint of SI Rajbir Singh, who asserted that there was the possibility of Rohingyas being involved in human trafficking of the girls, and the girls were subjected to physical and sexual exploitation.

Details of the court case

In 2022, the matter went to the court. As initially Sections under the POCSO Act, details of the main case, including judgment, are not available for public view as per the law. OpIndia, however, accessed bail applications and related documents to find more details. Between 2022 and 2024, till the judgment was passed, the accused appealed for bail multiple times in Nuh Sessions Court and Punjab and Haryana High Court. However, all pleas were dismissed in both Sessions and High Courts.

While dismissing the bail pleas, the court noted that the accused’s advocate asserted the case filed against them was false and that his client did not commit the offence. Furthermore, the advocate said there was no chance of tempering with the evidence. However, the public prosecutor countered and said that the accused was involved in transporting the victims in a pre-planned manner to sell them in Jammu and Kashmir. PP further pointed out that the allegations against the accused were severe, and they were not entitled to bail.

The court pointed out that it was evident that the accused were involved in the trafficking of victims for their sexual exploitation, and it was found that the victims were sexually exploited when they were trafficked from Bangladesh to Nuh. While recording statements, the victims stated about the involvement of the accused to keep them confined in Nuh for several days. However, they did not mention rape in their statements in the court.

As the allegations against them were serious and they might have influenced the witness or absconded on release on bail, the bail plea was dismissed.

Involvement of Advocate Tahir Hussain Ruparya

During research, one name stood out that was Advocate Tahir Hussain Ruparya, who represented the accused in the leading case and the bail pleas in Sessions Court along with Tahir Hussain Neemka.

Ruparya is known for providing legal aid to Islamists who are accused of rioting, cow smuggling and cow slaughtering, among other cases. Notably, he represented 210 accused of Nuh violence in 2023, in which six people, including Hindu devotees, were killed by an Islamist mob. For those who are unaware, on 31st July 2023, Islamist rioters attacked Hindu devotees in Nuh of Haryana. At least six people died in the riots. Police officials, Home Guards, Hindu devotees and other officials were injured during the violence. Public and private properties worth crores were destroyed during the ensuing violence.

Ruparya also represented Congress leader Mamman Khan in the matters related to Nuh violence. Not to forget, Mamman Khan’s name was categorically taken by Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij in Haryana Assembly on 28th August. Vij alleged that police found ample evidence against Khan in matters related to the Nuh violence.

He was hired to fight the cases by the controversial Muslim organisation Jamaat Ulama-i-Hind. He has a long association with the Congress Party. His father was a Congress leader and fought elections on a Congress ticket. As per the Dainik Bhaskar report, his father, Choudhary Wali Mohammed, was also a famous advocate. Once, he fought the Assembly election, and once, he fought the General Election on a Congress ticket but was defeated. When Rahul Gandhi was on his “Bharat Jodo Yatra”, Hussain met Gandhi in Nuh.

The Rohingya Camp in Nuh, where the accused lived

All three accused were residents of Shahpur Nangli Rohingya Refugee Camp in Nuh, Haryana. The Rohingya Camps often become the topic of headlines for different reasons, including recovery of illegal vehicles, open defecation and more.

In July 2022, Haryana Police conducted searches in 10 camps located in Haryana, one of which was in Shahpur Nangli. During the search, police recovered 50 illegal vehicles modified and used for selling fruits and vegetables and collecting scraps. The search operation was conducted after a dump truck driver killed DSP Surender Singh in July 2022. Reports suggested that 500 families of Rohingyas, comprising 1,771 persons, lived in those camps.

In September 2022, it was reported that these camps became a breeding ground for diseases due to a lack of sense of cleanliness among the residents. Following heavy rainfall, the camp was flooded, resulting in a health hazard as Rohingyas indulged in open defecation. Nuh MLA Aftab Ahmed had come out to their support and met authorities to provide machines for drainage of water.

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B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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