Enquiry report:

Police atrocities in Mau, UP

If there is any place in UP, where the police does its best to justify the comments of former UP High Court Judge, Anand Narayan Mulla, it is the police in Mau. Justice Mulla had said in a judgement that probably there was no other organised group of bandits whose crime record acceded that of the gang we call the Indian Police.

Mau is comparatively a new district. Saadatpura is its ward no. 12. It is located between the State transport bus stand and the private transport bus stand. One part of this Mohalla has the red light area. In the other part live the Dalits, the backwards, and the minorities. Powerlooms, animal husbandry, vegetables, fish selling, etc, are some of the important vocations of the people living here. The people of this area set up an Agitation Committee to demand the shifting of the liquor vend from here. The committee organised meetings, dharnas, hunger strike, and other democratic methods to ventilate their demands. The most important point of this month old agitation is the participation of and leadership by women. They participated in all programmes in large numbers. Three persons sat on fast unto death after giving prior information to the concerned authorities. In their support about 20 to 25 women sat on dharna. In the afternoon of April 4, the police took away four leaders of the agitation, Sarvashri Wasi Ahmed, Triveni Prasad, Ramji Singh, and Sitaram Yadav, allegedly for negotiations. The police has falsely charged these leaders with criminal offences, in fact the police personal are guilty of those offences for the atrocities committed on people sitting on dharna At about 11.45 at night Superintendent of Police of district Mau, Srinath Rai led SDM city Radheshyam Singh, Chawki in charge Sarhu, sub-Inspector Laik Ahmad, SHO Sarai lakhansi, Ram Awadh Varma, SHO South Tola Ramesh Pande, SHO Ranipur Matandin Kannaujia, SHO Kopa Gunj RS Singh, SHO Haldharpur Abrar Ahmad, SHO Chiraiyyakot Bhaiyya Lal Singh, Bans Bahadur Singh (VT), Bans Bahadur Yadav (south tola) , Ram Chandra Misra (Khiri Bagh) along with a large number of male constables, 2 women constables, and two sections of the PAC (20th force), to the venue of dharna. First, they tried to intimidate the men by using lathis . The women opposed it. The police broke the music instruments in the presence of the SDM Sadar. He ordered a lathi charge to disperse the peaceful people siting on dharna and hunger strike.

The men and women siting on dharna refused to budge even after the lathi charge. Now the police resorted to firing. Kewala Devi w/o late Dewari was killed by a bullet. When she fell down, Harikesh and other young boys laid her in front of the shop of Jayashree. Her sons, Shiv Shankar and Chandra Bhan, and daughter-in-law Sharada reached there. At that time she was bleeding. When Shiv Shankar picked up his mother to take her to the hospital, his finger happened to enter the hole made by the bullet in her neck. There was a hole near her eye also. Shiv Shankar, Madhu, and others took her on a cycle trolley to the emergency section of the civil hospital. There they were told that she was dead. In the meanwhile, the police and the district administration had come to know of the death of Kewala Devi. The large contingent of police and district officers reached the hospital. Kewala Devi's body and Shiv Shankar were taken to the Thana Mohammadabad Gohna. The body was kept there and taken to Azamgarh on April 5. On the same day, at about 11.30 at night post mortem was done. Shiv Shankar urged the police and administration officials to hand over the body to him, so that they may perform the last rites at Mau. But the officials refused to hand over the body. Instead stones were tied to the body, it was taken to Sindhari bridge in Mirzapur, and thrown into the river from there. Shiv Shankar was made to sign on a blank paper which was handed over to the Dom who had gone with the police. He was told that the he would get the death certificate on its basis. Later when Shiv Shankar contacted him for the death certificate he demanded money. On being refused money he declined to give the death certificate. On April 6, Sharada Devi, the daughter in law of the deceased was taken by the police to the residence of DM, Mau. The DM told Sharada Devi that they had decided to raise Rs. 30,000/- to give to the family as compensation along with 20 karee land. If they wanted to accept it, she should come the next day. The DM issued a press note that Kewala Devi had died as a result of stone throwing. The police bullet had hit the foot of Vinod Kumar Shankar. This Fact Finding Team found this press note to be totally false.

No victim of this inhuman firing by the police is being treated at the Civil Hospital. As a result all the injured people are compelled to go to other places for treatment. This team saw bullet marks on the iron go down shutter of Ram Dutt Madweshia near the venue of dharna.

In the meanwhile there was barbaric oppression, terror, loot , and violence in Saadatpura on the night of 4/5 April. The worst type of misconduct by the police and the PAC with agitating girl and women was let loose. The workers of the liquor shop helped the police to identify the agitating women. They were abused and taunted and were told that now they would forget to raise slogans, to sit on dharna , and lead agitations. The police and PAC broke open the doors to houses, snatched jewelry and looted cash. The women members of the team have obtained signed statements of women who were victims of these attacks. They examined the signs of violence on their bodies. Eight of these women were sent to jail and were released on 8th April.

Since it is a congested locality, if the police could not break open the doors of some house they jumped into the house from the adjoining roofs. If any poor residence did not have anything valuable, aluminum utensils were broken and destroyed. A three year old child was picked up and dashed on the ground. The husband of one woman ran away when he heard the sound of firing. 15-20 police persons entered her house, dragged her out by the hair, and stuffed a bamboo into her private parts. When this committee met her on April 12, the wound on her vagina was still flowing. Private parts and breasts of another woman agitator were brutally injured. Some families had collected money and jewelry for marriages, etc., that was looted. Many people had broken limbs due to police assault.

The police stopped the State Road Transport Bus No. UP - 65 E 0899, asked the passengers to get down, broke window pains, and set fire to it; the chairs of the tent house at the dharna site were taken to the police station and there, early in the morning of April 5, they were broken; the same day, at 8:30 in the morning, the police and the employees of the liquor shop damaged the liquor shop and set fired to it. The blame for all these incidents has been attributed to the people who were arrested on April 4 !

The women constables stayed at the dharna venue and did not participate in the police terror in the Mohalla. But when the women were being taken to the jail then they were heard telling their male colleagues to pour acid into the private parts of these women so that they give up Netaagiri.

The contractor of the liquor shop is one Badri Jaiswal . His son, Jitendra Jaiswal, is an independent MLA and is a Minister. They are big liquor contractors of this State. The district Magistrate is publicizing the figures of the revenue from this liquor vend.

The employees of the liquor vend and the pimps of the prostitutes twice organised processions by the prostitutes against the removal of the liquor shop. These people were told that the agitation was also against the brothels. Some agitators against the liquor vend met the prostitutes and appealed to them not to agitate. The district Magistrate also told them not to be agitated and that the ongoing agitation was against the liquor vend and not the brothels. After two demonstrations they did not organize any more programs.

The present position is that of the 49 arrested persons, all the 8 women, and 19 men were released on April 8. 30 persons charged under serious criminal offenses are still in jail. The entire Saadatpura Mohalla is terrorized.

This Fact Finding Team decided to send the report of the whole incident to the National Human Rights Commission and the National Commission for Women demanding direct intervention by them. The district administration, the police, and the State Government cannot inspire confidence and give relief. It is necessary to take legal action against the guilty police persons and the staff of the hospital. It urges these National Commissions to sympathetically consider the withdrawal of fake cases and to give compensation to those who have suffered laws.

The present team was constituted by the Joint Forum of Women , Samanvaya, and the Joint Cultural Forum of various Human Rights and Cultural Organizations. The team visited Saadatpura area on April 12. Members of the team: Dr. Swati, Secretary, Naari Ekta, Reader BHU; Dr. Muniza Rafiq Khan, Naari Ekta, Lecturer Gandhi Vidya Sansthan, Rajghat; Kanchanaa Singh, Social Research Centre, Saarnath; Jyoti Lakshmi, Mahila Chetana Samiti Chiraigaon; Shruti, Maanavaadhikaar Jana Nigarani Samiti; Aflatoon, Secretary Saanjhaa, Sanskriti Manch and member National Executive, Samajwadi Jan Parishad.

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