National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked Telangana Director-General of Police M. Mahendar Reddy to appear personally before the Commission in a case related to communal remarks passed by the Assistant Commissioner of Police against a Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) protester.
NHRC issued conditional summons to DGP after no action taken report was received from the police. The human rights body was acting on a petition filed by Muhammad Abdul Mujeeb of Karimnagar. The petitioner alleged the ACP and police inspector threatened him for taking out a rally against CAA.
Police officers allegedly told the complainant that fanaticism and terrorism in Islam are more and ‘anti-CAA protesters must go to a neighbouring country’. Mujeeb told the NHRC that the Assistant Commissioner of Police P. Ashok and Inspector Special branch, serving in Karimnagar district had intimidated him for taking out a rally in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act on December 22nd 2019.
“While I was part of the protest march at Rajiv Chowk, Tower Circle, and Karimnagar, I received a call from a cop. He identified himself as an Inspector with Telangana’s special branch. He threatened me for being part of the protest. It is pertinent to mention that the rally was peaceful and completely in line with the spirit of Article 19(1)(b),” Mujeeb stated.
The following day, Mujeeb was allegedly asked to present before Commissioner of Police, Karimnagar, VB Kamalasan Reddy. “Later in the noon, I was asked to appear before Karimnagar I Town police station. During counseling at the station, ACP Ashok, in presence of the inspector, said anti-CAA protestors should go to the neighboring country instead. I informed the police that I was part of the protest but not the organizer,” he said.
Mujeeb, in his petition, told the NHRC, that, he was forced to agree with ACP’s understanding of the Citizens Amendment Act. “The police officer made a derogatory remark that fanaticism and terrorism are more in Islam,” Mujeeb added.
Based on his complaint, NHRC sought an action taken report (from the police). “Despite giving the last opportunity, no report has been submitted to date. The commission takes serious note of this non-responsive attitude,” NHRC said.
A conditional summon under Section 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 has been issued against DGP Telangana.
He has been directed to appear before the commission on 1st February 2021, with the requisite report.