PUCL Rajesthan report by Kavita Srivastava
The Jaipur terror scapegoat
The poor Bengali muslim migrant
On the evening of the 13th of May, 2008, nine bomb blasts ripped through the
spine of the walled city killing more than 66 people and injuring over two
hundred people. Like in other 8 cities where similar attacks took place
since 2005 Jaipur too stood together and thankfully no communal riot
followed. Instead people belonging to different faiths and communities came
together on the third day and paid their respects to the deceased and
remembered the unity of this city over several hundred years, which had been
marred by three major riots in 1989, 1990 and 1992. Communal amity for
always was what everybody pledged for.
The medical community at the SMS Hospital and other Private Hospitals that
took in patients responded with zeal and saved several lives. That night 56
patients were brought in dead and five who came in gasping died soon after.
The death toll by the end of the week grew to 66. More than 277 injured were
also brought in on the night of the blast out of which 134 were admitted in
the various Hospitals and the rest were discharged. Some of the patients
have ended up with permanent impairments, assessments are still being made
and the medical Community of the SMS Hospital even today affirm their
commitment to the patients.
In the next few days it became clear that more than half of those who lost
their lives were around the two Hanuman temples. More than 35 lives were
lost at the Chandpole Hanuman Mandir. At least a third of the shoppers and
passer byes who got killed were children, school going girls, college going
boys and ofcourse the flower seller, the bangle seller, the key makers
including two police men. Destroying dreams
The city put its best foot forward and collectively tried to cope with this
tragedy. When occupants of the hospital wards learnt that blast victims were
being brought into their ward, on their own they gave up their beds for the
victims of the bomb blast. Long Queues of youth stood outside the hospital
for blood donation, a youth group decided to provide attendants and a group
of senior citizens deicded to carry out Jal Sewa in Hospital. Scores of such
stories expressing the good side of the Human Kind filled the news pages and
were broadcasted by the channels.
At our own end we initially with other groups got involved with relief work.
We also collected a100,000 rupees and gave it to the Relief society in the
Hospital for medicines and other consumables needed. We also provided
attendants and have planned to do a detailed survey of the families of the
injured and that of the deceased. This survey will be carried out now in the
first week of June, 2008.
However, close on the heels of the expression of the goodness of the Jaipur
residents, followed the ugly face of the politicians. The BJP got maximum
mileage from the blast. First Advani next Vasundhara Raje and then the rest
of the Sangh Cabal got shriller and shriller that POTA ought to be
legislated again, Rajasthan Organised Crimes Act, 2006
(ROCA) which was sitting with the Ministry of Home Affairs for whetting be
immediately sent back so that a strong law could be used against the
criminals, that the Bangladeshis were the cause of it all, as prima facie
HUJI seemed to be the link and the delay in Hanging Afzal Guru ( the accused
in the Parliamentary Attack Case) was the cause of these Blasts as it
strengthened the might and the morale of the Terrorists.
The war of words between the Centre and the State was nauseating. The
discourse of the BJP was that the present PM was weak, not Macho enough to
take a tough stand against Islamic Terrorism and the Congress counter
consisted of how they had forewarned the State and that the lapse was that
of the Raje Government. The State's Government's defense against the aspect
of Intelligence Failure was that if the US Federal Intelligence failed and
9/11 could happen then how can Rajasthan State Intelligence be taken to task
as the Islamist Terrorist is unbridled can take the best by surprise. IT was
as if the issue of Intelligence lapses was as non issue. The only respite
was that Sonia Gandhi refused to take issues with anybody although the Home
Minister has been putting his foot in his mouth and even to the present has
been responding casually to serious issues like evicting Bengali-
Bangladeshis which is discussed later
The Chief Minister and the BJP emerged as the protector of the People of the
State. Amongst the Muslims a message was sent that she managed to prevent
the Hindutva Hardliners from attacking the Muslim community, amongst the
business community she emerged as protector of business in the city.
Continuous announcements were made that the tourist traffic was unaffected,
No investor was pulling out. And finally as one who would act firmly, bring
in a strong anti-terror law, punish the criminals and cleanse the city of
the breeding ground of terror, the Bengali migrant, the "Bangaldeshi", the
Why had the Ajmer Sharif Blast which took place in the holy Ramadan period
in 2007 not been cracked up as yet or why were the SP's of a District in
Rajasthan given less than Rs. 6000 for new creative inputs to tackle the
newer crimes which are increasingly foxing the police or that if the IPL
matches take away 500 police men which is one sixth of the active police
force deployed in the city of Jaipur then what were the counter arrangements
to track suspicious people.
Police Investigation leading to nought and the Poor Bengali Migrant being
made the scapegoat.
10 days have gone past and there has been no breakthrough in the
investigations. We know of this from the chief investigator of the case. In
conversation with different officials all have made it clear that only when
they will get inputs from central agencies that the investigation will
proceed as the network of "terrorists is national and international".
The Rajasthan police SIT claims that no RDX was used and the chemical used
for the blast was Ammonium Nitrate. The police from Day one insisted that
the link was HUJI and they claimed that the bombs were similar to the
Hyderabad ones. First there was a vociferous attempt by the media to put the
blame on one Shamim a Maulavi and Madarsa teacher who had been taken in
custody for several days after the Ajmer Blast from Khandela, Sikar. The
media claimed that police had released him as even this Government wished to
On the 14th came an e. mail of the Indian Mujahideen from Sahibabad in
Ghaziabad UP to some national channels. It showed clips of a cycle parked
outside the Kotwali police station with a "blue bag" on it and the rim of
the cycle had a number on it. Definitely this photo was taken by a mobile
well before the blast happened. The other clips that have not been released
according to the police show a group of men assembling a bomb and the time
shown in the watch is 2.20. The police conjecture was that it must be 2.20
in the afternoon as sound from the clip was that of loud traffic in the
background. It was at 2.30 pm that the men reached the cycle shops. If they
were the same men then clearly they reached in ten minutes of the assembling
of the bomb which also shows how close they were from the place of the bomb
blast. Many channels went to town over the genuineness of the email maybe it
was there to misguide.
In the meanwhile the police also started taking into custody the SIMI group
from Wazirpur in Karoli. One SP even went to Indore to examine the SIMI men
who were in Jail since a month ago.
Then the police claimed that they had evidence to prove that Bangladeshi
migrants in Jaipur were being taken regularly to Bangladesh from where they
were taken to Pakistan for ideological and arms training as well as to make
bombs. They also said that these trained men were as to be sleeper modules
till the time they got a message from the bosses. One Babu Khan arrested in
UP for another matter was one of the key persons who used to take the poor
Bangladeshi migrants to Bangladesh and from there to Pakistan. Madhu Bangali
who is presently in Ajmer Jail and had been arrested earlier in another case
had confessed about these happenings, which was later confirmed by Babu
Khan. The police also stated that Toufiq was the main Jaipur person who
selected the people and made the link with Babu Khan Babu Khan who handled
these affairs in UP.
The local media went to town over how illegal Bangladeshi migrants had made
Jaipur unsafe and how "this scum of the earth" were there to destroy the
economy of the city and the State. It was on walk the talk broadcasted by
NDTV and later published in the Indian Express where Vasundhara Raje openly
said that it was well known that the Bangladeshis indulge in a "lot of
illegal activities". She linked them with the blast by suggesting that the
e-mail was sent by HUJI. And since it works out of Bangladesh they would
make contact with Bangladeshis. She also stated that the e-mail showed that
definitely there was some involvement of people from outside India.
This upfront position taken by the Government on the Bangladeshis question,
has resulted in the crack down by the police on anybody and everybody who is
Bengali Muslim. Although a few Hindu suspects have also been arrested
however the violations against those arrested as being suspected illegal
Bangaldeshi Migrants is so severe that the police needs to be stopped
immediately. With the crackdown on the Bengalis the migrant workers, from
Bihar and UP are also running away as suddenly every worker has become a
suspect in the eyes of law.
Violations of the Human Rights of the poor (mostly Muslims) in the name of
being Bangladeshi Migrants and of suspicious character
The Bengalis in Jaipur
The official figure of the Bangladeshis in Jaipur is a minimum 10,000 and
for the State 20,000. Although every police and Government official will say
that the real figure maybe 2 to three times higher. Traditionally Jaipur has
been home to a large number of Bengalis who were mainly Priests,
Administrators, City Planners, Teachers but the contribution of the Bengali
working class groups has also been documented and they too have come in
large numbers and settled here. The famous Shila Devi of Amber is from
Jessore in East Bengal which gave the Hindu Bengalis an organic relationship
with Jaipur. The Bengalis working class contribution is very significant to
the economy of the city as is the contribution of the other migrant workers
from within the city and outside.
A quick look at the working class groups from Bengal
The Cooch Beharis are in very large numbers in Jaipur because of the Raj
Mata, the erstwhile Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur who was from Cooch
Behar. The Bengalis from other parts of West Bengal is a phenomena since the
eighties. Particularly from Malda, Nadiad, Hooghly, Howrah and other
The Bangladeshis mostly came in the early seventies as a part of the refugee
exodus fleeing the atrocities of the Pakistani Army, however, the porous
border between the two countries and corruption within BSF (Rs hundred per
person is the BSF rate to come across to India) has resulted in extremely
poor labourers coming to Jaipur although the tout rate per person is Rs.
4000 to be brought to Jaipur.
A large number of the women who are child care givers and domestic workers
are even today from amongst the Cooch Behari women. They are mostly Hindus.
Other than Cooch Behari's the Bengali Muslims who live in Kachhi Bastis
(slums) close to middle class homes have also got into domestic work. As
compared to the Rajasthani domestic worker the Bengali domestic worker is
more professional as even today the Rajasthani Domestic worker conceals the
public identity of her work.
The Cooch Behari men are mostly skilled Construction Workers particularly in
making the structure of metal rods for the RCC roofing.
A very large section of the famous "Aari-Tari, Zardozi, gold bead and other
filigree intricate work" is done by both Bengali and Bihari child,
adolescent and adult labour. A very big section of this labour is Muslim. In
the old city and the poor areas of Jaipur these factories run in the most
dehumanised conditions and the situation of this labour is pitiable.
The Bengali Mazdoor are famous for putting up the decorative wedding tents
of Jaipur. They are also well known as flower decorators of the Wedding
Pandals.. Most of the workers are from West Bengal but about 20 percent are
Rag Picking like everywhere else is done by the poorest lot who are either
the Bengali Muslim migrants from West Bengal and also the Bangladeshi
migrants. Men and women also work at the Godowns sorting paper from plastic
and then the paper is mostly loaded in Trucks and sent to Delhi for
recycling. The men and women also exchange old clothes for utensils and go
house to house all day with big loads of utensils and clothes slung on their
shoulders and their heads.
Rickshaw pullers in the city are mostly from Rajasthan. But the Muslim
Bengali and the Hindu Biharis in large numbers also pull Rickshaws. This is
the same for the Cycle and Hand Thela walas.
The loaders at the Subzi Mandis are mostly from Bihar and from UP with more
than 60 percent of them being Muslim and Forty percent being Hindus.
Profiling of the Suspect
Crackdown on the Bengalis started on the 19th May and till the 22nd morning
several hundreds had been rounded up and more than 115 people have been sent
to Judicial Custody under sec 109 of the Cr. PC. The break up of people
arrested police station wise is as follows.
S. No Police Station Police District Name of Basti Number of
people picked up Date
1. Kanota Jaipur Rural Bagrana Bangladeshi Transit Camp 25
( including 1 woman ) 19-20 May
2. Pragpura Jaipur Rural Pragura (Delhi Jaipur High Way) 10
3. Chandwazi Jaipur Rural
4. Malviya Nagar Jaipur East Manoharpura Beed, Jagatpura 12 19
- 22 May
5. Sanganer Sadar Jaipur East Buxawala 6 19-20 May
6. Jawahar Nagar Jaipur East TilaNumber 7, Jawahar Nagar Kachhi
Basti 7 20 -21 May
7. Moti Doongri Jaipur East Sanjay Kachhi Basti 4 20-21 May
8 Galta Gate Thana Jaipur North Baas Badan Pura, Mohalla Dakotan,
Delhi Jaipur Bye Pass 33 (including one woman) 19-21 May
9. Ram Ganj Thana Jaipur North Char Darwazza, Sri Chowdi Ram
Chandraji 19 19-21 May
10 Bhatta Basti Jaipur South 9 Bangladeshi's were picked up 10
days before the blast and according to the police the area now has been
"cleansed" of Bangaldeshis.
More than five teams of the PUCL went to some of the Bastis in order to get
a perception of what was happening. The stories of what was happening were
Wide spread Hunger in ³BAGRANA² - the Bangladeshi Transit Camp
On 21st May 2008, the team from ³PUCL² went to Bagrana. More than 25 people
had been arrested so we had decided to examine the situation there. This
basti is situated on the Jaipur Agra highway. The first transit camp for
Bangladeshis was set up in 2003 by the Ashok Gehlot Government. This is one
of the resettlement colonies of the Jaipur Development Authorities. The
Bangladeshi group of migrants mostly rag pickers had been living in Gopal
Bari, along the railway line close to the Jaipur Junction for many years.
However, after the 2002 Godhra incident they were moved to Bagrana in 2003.
And the first transit camp was set up. These Bangladeshi's escaped
deportation and have been living for more than five years in a sub human
environment. At Bagrana the total number of families from Bangladesh are
around 350 of which 315 have the transit camp slip. There are a few
Rajasthani, Biharis and residents from UP too.
This settlement also has other settlers like the Mirasis Muslims who are
mainly construction workers. This group of people maintain their distance
from the Bangaldeshi's.
Being a camp no family can use brick or stone for construction purpose or
put up a pucca roof or have a single brick wall. However, a few families
have managed to get the brick wall constructed but the cover over the houses
is a thin plastic sheet or a tarpaulin which is unbearable in the hot summer
temperature of 45 degrees. There is a serious water shortage and there are
constant fights amongst the women for water.
At first glance huge mountains of waste awaiting sorting is what you
encounter when you enter the Basti. The children and the old all seemed
listless. Hunger seemed widespread in the colony. The children had eaten but
very little. Some of the adults had not eaten for the last six days. The
situation of hunger was very evident.
Apart from the fact that the children looked extremely malnourished and
women appeared anaemic. According to them living at the bottom of the heap
was acceptable than compared to living in absolute hunger and poverty in
Bangladesh. However, the people this time were living in deep fear too.
The Basti of Bagrana is divided into 2 colonies. New basti and the old
³Shri Ramlal² ji, a Rajasthani who had been staying for the last 6 years
told us about the arrest of 2 Maulvis who were also Rajasthani's. Further he
also told us, that many of the Bengali families had been staying in Bagrana
since the last 30-35 years and some had been shifted by the JDA around 5
years ago.. They all asked the Government to issue ration cards so that they
could also get subsidised food and kerosene but no had paid heed to this
In May 2008, there was a severe fire disaster in the basti, in which a child
died and as many as 122 huts were burnt, and around 15-20 people were
severely injured. The families suffered serious losses. After the incident
several authorities came and announced relief. Prominent amongst them was
the Education Minister Shri Kali Charan Saraf and the District Collector.
Some of the affected families got food and other support. Those who lost
their houses in the fire, got Rs. 4000 as relief, but the parents who lost
their child in the fire incident didn¹t got anything, although the Minister
had announced Rs 1 lac as compensation.
According to most people living in the Basti, even the incident of the fire
had the authorities treating them with dignity but the blast changed it all.
They had become Pariah's. When the police randomly arrested several people
and took them away on the 14th itself fear set in them. According to the
women the police arrested those who were in the forefront and were in some
sense leaders of the community. The women kept saying that they were taken
away for no reason. They were not in any way connected to the blast.
When the SHO of Kanota was asked why certain people were arrested they said
that they had arrested those whose body language was not right. There seemed
something suspicious about their movements so they were arrested, he said.
There was widespread hunger as in more than 25 homes not only the head of
the family had been arrested but also the movements of people of the Basti
had been completely restricted. A police chowki had been set up in the Basti
to monitor the movements of the people. The people had been instructed by
the police that they could not step out for work into the city. This had
resulted in a hunger like situation in several homes and both the adults and
children had not eaten for the last 6 days. They kept saying that first the
men had been arrested and then they had been left to starve. This situation
would only turn worse in the next few days.
On being asked that why they left their home country and came and settled
here in India, they responded that, in their country there are frequent
floods, due to which their homes and land were destroyed every time they
constructed one. It was getting very difficult for them to survive there, so
they came to India in search of a job and shelter. They said that they want
to live in Jaipur itself like anybody else.
· Dukhu Sheik's wife Champa told us that they had been staying in Jaipur
for the last 15 years. They had 4 children (3 daughters and 1 son), her
husband was the only person in the family who used to earn by tying huts for
the poor. After his arrest there was no one in the family to earn even a
rupee. She herself had not eaten anything for the last 6 days. They had
moved into this basti 5 years ago. She kept stating that nobody in their
entire family had even the slightest links with the Jaipur blasts and so why
were they being victimised.
· Abu Hayat (17 years), a tailor, his father, used to make huts and
brother was a rag picker were taken into custody by the police on 19th
itself. He was the only one left in the family to provide for the family of
nine people. He was sad that they were being prevented from going into the
city to earn. When they tried go into the city they were beaten the police
and sent back. He said that till before the blast they had food thrice a day
but now managing enough food for even single meal seemed difficult..
· Both the leaders Imran and Daulat Khan had also been arrested by the
police. They were also wealthier than the others as they purchased the
garbage from the others and sent it to Delhi for processing and recycling.
· 55 years old, Mohammad Sheikh had hunger written all over him. His son
had been arrested. he kept saying that the blast had snatched their food as
the bread winner of his family, his son had been arrested and others were
not allowed to step out.
· Mohammad Noor Husain (52 years), in the past used to live at ?Ghat
Gate¹, there he was a voter too. But ever since he came to Bagrana, the
sarpanch of the nearby village did not let him cast his vote and said that,
you can¹t vote as you are not an Indian.
· Haseena Bano, had three 3 children and all were hungry for the 6 days,
as her husband had been arrested and there was no one in the family to earn.
· Abdul Rehman told us that his father came to India in 1971 when
Bangladesh was formed and he was born in India itself. So he kept asking us
as to why he was not considered to be a Indian when he was born here and
through his work the the city was kept clean. Why was he being considered
· Mariam (25 years), enquired from us as to why the police was not
arresting the terrorists, but were instead after them and arresting their
family members? She told us that those who had been arrested by the Kanota
police station were not even provided food during their detention at the
police station. She also told us that although 27 people had been rounded up
but only 20 chapattis were given. They were treated worse than dogs she
said. She also told us that she was sure that those arrested had been
tortured and verbally abused. The whole attitude of the police and the
administration was like as if they were animals.
· The arrest of a young muslim woman called Bobby from Shahpura.
According to many people when Bobby and her husband Musa had come to meet
her nephew in the Bagrana Basti she and her husband were picked up by the
Police. However, the neighbourhood attributed her arrest to the fact that
she had married a Hindu who had converted to Islam inorder to marry her. So
the act of arresting Bobby and her husband was an act of vindictiveness by
the police. Bobby was picked up on the 14th of May and sent into JC only on
the 20th. May, 2008
See the Annexure for list of those sent to JC by the 21st.
The Tragedy at Manoharpura Beed, Jagatpura Kachi Basti
PUCL teams visited Manoharpura Beed on the 20th and 22nd May as the women
were very miserable with the arrests of their sons and husbands. We also
visited the Malviya Nagar police station and met some of those in police
custody. This is one of the oldest Bengali Basti of Jaipur. The men and
women were active members of the Kachhi Basti Federation a CPI (M)
affiliate. Many of the women were also active with the Janwadi Mahila Samiti
and had been vocal on the various issues taken up by the women's movement on
the Streets of Jaipur.
Razia Begum, a Cooch Behari by birth, and one of the leaders and also the
settlers of this Basti told us that in 1986 more than 190 families were
shifted out from the Janta Market area near Chandi ki Taksal in the walled
city and brought to Jagatpura which was at that point in complete
It was because of the initiative and hard work of the CITU Vice President,
Waqar-ul-Ahad that the Jaipur Municipal Council had agreed to move them to a
Basti and they got an opportunity to stay with dignity in Jaipur. Of the 190
families that were moved 70 were Bengalis and others were "Madrassis" and
Rajasthanis. Soon after they had been moved, more than 200 families from
Bai-ji-ki-Kothi Jhalana Doongri were also moved into that area, After 1992
people from the Bajaj Nagar Kachhi Basti also moved into this area. The
entire Basti presently has more than 3000 families with over 2627 being
patta (title) holders given by the JDA. It is mini India with Bengalis,
Madraasis, Biharis, Rajasthanis and Muslims from Tonk living there.
The people told us that they were frequently surveyed and that they always
keep their documents like ration cards, voter ID cards and the JDA titles
ready in hand as they are never sure when they would be declared
Bangaldeshi's. Some of them told us that they got their voter identity cards
because of Kali Charan Saraf, the Education Minster and they also voted for
The Arrests: More than 12 people were arrested from this Basti between the
19 and the 22nd of May. Of the 12 eleven were Muslims and one was a Hindu.
They also picked up one of the leaders of the Basti called Dina Babu who was
running around and assisting all those arrested. One Hameeda Begum told us
that the police had arrested her two sons and her son in law. Two of
those arrested were over 60 years.
The Bengalis living in this Bastis claimed that they were mostly from West
Bengal. Most of them had come to Jaipur when they were very little more than
forty years ago. Many of the women we met told us that they had also got
married here and also their children were born here. They had been working
very hard in order to educate their children. They also told us that though
they maybe rag pickers or kabbadi walas but they sent their children to
school. Many of them send their children to Private Schools and also to the
Jan Bodh School run by the Bodh Shiksha Samiti in collaboration with the
Government, in their Basti.
Most of the people of this Basti are either rag pickers, or work in godowns
where garbage is sorted and get Rs. 50 to 60 a day, the men also pull
Rickshaws and Trolleys, the women also go house to house for domestic work.
Some also work in grocery stores and a couple had their own grocery store in
After the blast they were not worried that they would be suspected as they
were so frequently surveyed. However, they were shocked to learn that the
police had instructed that everyday five families will come and give their
papers to the Police Station along with addresses of people in West Bengal
who can be contacted for conformation of them being Indians.
Some Case studies of those arrested.
The Tragedy of the arrest of Janey Alam.
Janey Alam is 66 years old. He originally belongs to Gaskin Bokul tala,
Jogacha Police station, in district Howrah, Kolkata. He married Sophia Begum
in 1984 and has a daughter. According to Sophia Begum Janey Alam was Ajit
Chakravorty s/o Devendra Nath Chakravorty before his marriage and adopted
Islam and picked up the a fictious name of Mahbool Alam as that of his
father. He felt that it would be difficult to explain to the world as to why
he converted to Islam. They lived for several years in Vasant Kunj and
worked in the homes of various people. They took their daughter Hasina to
AIIMS when she was giving birth to her child. It was only in 1995 that they
came to Jaipur and started working here. Janey Alam is a coolie and pulls a
trolley. On the evening of the 19th when he was in his Basti the police
picked him from the tea shop. The police asked him to produce addresses and
proof of his native place in W Bengal and if they would get the confirmation
from the particular police station in West Bengal then they would released.
The family were very concerned as to how would they prove their identities
as bonafide Indian citizens.
The tragedy of Hamida Begum's family: Two of her sons and one son-in-law
were picked up on the 20th night and sent to Judicial Custody on the 21st of
May, 2008. According to Hamida Begum she came as a child more than thirty
five years ago from Hakimpura, Keosha in District 24 Parganas. They were
landless labourers and worked on the fields of people living in Keosha in 24
Parganas. According to her mother the famous cyclone about forty years ago
and hit West Bengal and her village Tal Badi close to the Bay of Bengal had
sunk into it and they were all forced to leave and come away to Keosha, 24
Parganas. She kept saying that since all their relatives had also moved to
Jaipur and other places how would they establish the proof of being bonafide
They had come from the Janta Market area in 1986 and were the first group of
settlers in Jagatpura. They had ration cards since the mid eighties and a
voters identity card since 1995. they also showed electricity bills of 1993
in their name. Hamida Begum's husband Mhd. Hannan also had his Rickshaw
Driving Identity Proof since 1991 issued by the Jaipur Municipal Council.
Hamida and her family have been working hard and have constructed a pucca
house on their plot and have planted trees around their house and keep
saying that Jaipur has been their home and they must not be pushed out of
Hamida said that the police had picked up her younger son as he was involved
in petty criminal activity and was a bully so they had been targetted. She
said that they should arrest him for his criminal behaviour but why profile
them as Bangaldeshi's.
She burst into tears when she started speaking about her Son-in-law's
arrest. She said that her daughter who was proud of sending her sons to
school had sent her children for rag picking today as they are all daily
wage earners and if both the husband and wife donot earn together then they
cannot eke out a living. Since both her son-in-law and his brother had been
arrested the family had plunged into a deep financial crisis.
The names of Hamida's sons are Mohammed Sahidul and Mohammed Hanifa. her
Son-in-law's name is Mohammed Ansar alias Iqbal. and his brother is Mohammed
Khalil. Both of them also were asked to show addresses of their native
village in West Bengal which is Tarunipur, Post Govindpur, Thana Khantura,
District 24 Parganas.
Hamida is a Domestic Worker and goes house to house in Malviya Nagar doing
Arrest of 55 year old Sanyasi Burman son of Kartik Burman.
Sanyasi Burman is very poor. When he was arrested on the 19th in the
evening, he was in his lungi, strolling outside at 8 pm near the tea shop
that police picked him up. When we met him at the police station in the lock
up he was only in his undergarments. When he was taken to the SDM he was
taken in his undergarments. The poverty of his house was so acute that both
the mother and daughter next morning had gone for work as they could not
afford to take a Holiday and do the running around. According to Mona the
wife and Sandhya the daughter they were Patta holders of the plot they were
living in and were in Jaipur for the last thirty years. They kept saying
that they belonged to Kesari Pada, police station Jorasagar in Kolkata. The
sister of Sanyasi Burman was still in touch with them regularly from
Kolakta. They had spoken to her a couple of months ago.
They had all the required papers. The voter ID card, the ration card and the
title of the plot from JDA. They were in a state of shock and were not able
to understand as to how they would bring him out.
The total Basti must be having more than Bengali families.
The Story of Akbar Huessin s/o Abdul Hakim. Akbar Hussein is only 26 years.
His 75 year old Grand mother Saira Begum and his wife Bilkis met us. Bilkis
had three small children of below 5 years of age. Akbar collected garbage
and sorted it and sold it to a bigger contractor. Akbar was born in Jaipur
and had his birth certificate. His grand mother told us that they had come
to this Basti thirty years ago. Akbar Huessin was the only bread winner of
the family and if he would not return then they would die of hunger.
Saira Begum was wondering how they would contact their relatives in Bengal
when they were living here for the last forty years. Many of them had moved
into Jaipur with her and others were dead and gone. She was worried about
the survival of the children and their mother.
The stories of those who were taken in and left the next day was also the
same. They were verbally abused. One policeman also told them angrily that
they all deserved to be burnt alive as they were all trespassers in the
The tragedy of Death in Buxawala Basti
A total of 40 families live in Buxawala. They were settled here three years
ago from Bharat Nagar in Jhotwara by the JDA and Jaipur Nagar Nigam. Out of
26 of the 40 people staying here they had the JDA title of their house plot,
ration cards, voter ID cards and electricity and water connection. The other
14 showed the JDA agreement with them, thus in due course would also get the
title for the house plot. Most of these people are into construction and
masonary work, auto driving and rag packing. They are very poor people and
very few of the children go to school. Children are working as child labour
in close by places.
About 23 of the families are from Karim Nagar in Andhra Pradesh (AP), some
from West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and UP.
This Basti comes under Sanganer Sadar Police Station. The police on 19th
evening came to the Basti about 6 pm and picked up 8 people. When the women
resisted and appealed to the policeman to not the men the police used
abusive language and also beat them up.
After they were picked up they were also not allowed to meet their men who
were in custody. Since two of the boys picked up were very young the Basti
people urged the police to free them. They were finally allowed to go late
that night. All the rest were booked under sec 109 Cr PC. Two of the people
picked up were from Rajasthan and MP. Others picked up were from AP, WB,
Tripura and one from Burma
The Basti is in a state of shock as the police behaved very badly with them
and later due to the death of Afsana while her husband was under arrest and
because nobody got bail when they are all bonafide Indian citizens. The
Basti people are living with deep fear.
The Death of Afsana due to non-availabilty of medical help.
Twenty three year old Mazdoor called Pappu Ahmed was picked up on the 19th
night. He belongs to Burhanpur in M. P (part of undivided Khandwa
districts). He had a twenty year old wife called Afsana who had a serious
health problem. She died on the 21st.May morning as nobody hospitalised her
and she needed medical attention. After her husband was taken away only her
old mother in-law and 13 month old son were left behind.
The police had picked up Pappu as somebody into suspicious activity. He had
a ration card, his voters ID card and a JDA plot title.
When our team reached the neighbourhood was in deep grief as the men had
gone for her burial. The tent which had been pitched had women sitting.
Arrest of a youth with a Hearing Impairment.
Ram Lu a Mazdoor and originally from Karim Nagar in AP was arrested under
the same sections. He was the only child of his old mother who is now
fending on her own.
Mohammed Dulal Ali 50 years. was also arrested, His family claimed that they
were originally from Agartala in Tripura, (although everybody called him an
Assamese). He came to Jaipur as a child and since then has been living here.
He had four children and a wife.
Arrests in the Jaipur North Police district including that of a woman
When the men are taken away then the families are left to starve. This is
what was the condition of the 6 families from where the men who were the
bread winners taken away. One family had left the area out of fear. The
others were whose men were in prison were living miserably. The families
kept explaining that how would they be involved in a bomb blast when they
didnot have enough time to make food available for themselves.
Idgah Kachhi Basti, Baas Badanpura: Ten people were arrested from this Basti
from seven households including one woman. 19 year old Taslima was arrested
as she went to the Galta Gate police station to enquire about her 70 year
old father Azghar Ali and 24 year old brother Jinau Islam who had been
picked up on the 14th morning. They were sent into JC only on the 20th. For
seven days she along with her brother and father along with the others who
were arrested were kept in police custody.
The entire neighbourhood were sympathetic of the lot who had been arrested
as they said that the weakest person the Rag Picker was picked up and the
actual criminals who pedal in Naroctics and other drugs were left behind.
They also said that the police had beaten up those they had taken into
When this team went to meet the Addl SP regarding the arrests of the poor.
They were told that out of a total of 33 arrested, 29 were clear cut
Bangladeshis and out of the 4 who insisted that they had Indian Addresses
one gave an Address of Assam and the other three of West Bengal.
Why Arrests Under Sec 109 CrPC and Foreigners Act
A GOR order of 30/03/2007 has become the guideline on how to proceed on the
The protocol says that they once identified, they should be given a chance
of giving proof that are Indian citizens by crosschecking the address of
their native place. And once that is negative those lists should be handed
over to the BSF through the prescribed procedure who would get the names
cross checked with the Bangladesh rifles and then the deportation through
the BSF and the Bangladesh rifles. The GO goes on to say that the documents
relating to Ration Cards, Voter ID cards and others must be cancelled under
the set procedure and action be taken against those officials who provided
them all this.
It is very clear that most of the people arrested other than the majority of
the Bagrana lot have residence proof of belonging to Jaipur. They have voter
ID cards, Ration Cards, JDA plot papers, yet the have come under the
scrutiny of not being able give proof of their place of origin in India.
The people who were arrested as suspected Bangladeshi Illegal migrants could
have also been booked under violation of the Foreigners Act. However, the
Government preferred to book them under Sec 109 Cr. PC as they wanted to
keep the entire process of scrutiny under their control. foreigners Act
would have put the cases under judicial scrutiny where the Government could
not have controlled the procedure so it was left to the police and
Administration to give justice.
The farce in court.
All the applications of bond execution under 109 are brought to the SDM of
the area. All the SDMs of Jaipur district who dealt with these cases said
that the bail bond would only be executed if the Tehsildar would counter
sign the guarantee papers provided for bail. Since these were people from
the neighbourhood or wives who came and stood guarantee, they knew it that
no Tehsildar would counter sign. The Tehsildar would only sign after the
Patwari's report would give a favourable report and obviously the Patwari
would give the report as desired by the Government.
The right to be represented by a lawyer denied
IT was shocking to learn that the people were not allowed lawyers. Although
lawyers connected with Human rights organisation stood in court, however,
those arrested were not allowed to present a lawyers vakaltnama. The SDM
refused to accept the paper saying that since the counter sign had to happen
at the level of Tehsildar this hearing was a mere formality and there was
no need for lawyers to present any argument.
The newspapers also reported that the Bar had taken a resolution that the no
lawyer would represent these accused. Which ofcourse would be illegal in any
case as everybody had the right to be represented. When we got in touch with
the Jaipur Bar Association President he denied the passing of such a
Attitude of the Police in Court
The SDM was not bothered that the Police was literally pushing and shoving
the accused that were brought in. Publically they humiliated the kin of the
accused who were mostly women.
1. The serious violation of the human rights of the Muslim migrants in the
city especially those of Bengali origin would be an issue for the PUCL to
expose and ensure justice for the poor.
1. It was decided that the first level of intervention would be to put
together the report of the various PUCL teams and make it public.
1. On the basis of the facts collected by the teams an application should be
sent to the NHRC which should then be asked to intervene.
1. A delegation should also meet the Collector and the Chief Secretary and
the DG police and ask them to respond to the situation of hunger that was
stark in Bagrana and in those homes where the men had been taken away and
the women had been left behind.
1. Immediate suspension of the SHO Sanganer Sadar for arresting Pappu Ahmed
of Buxawalla Basti due to which his wife Afsana could not be provided with
medical support and she died on the 21st May, 2008 and for arresting the Ram
Lal who had a hearing impairment. The inhuman manner in which Pappu Ahmed
was also denied the right to be there at the time of her burial.
1. Even the SDM did not hear them when Pappu was produced in front of him
and he Basti people tried to tell that his wife was serious.
1. Action should be taken against all SHOs for keeping people without arrest
for more than 6 days.