‘Book cops for custodial death of Muslim in Godhra’

New Delhi, September 20 (KMS): The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (Mahmood Madani group) has demanded that policemen involved in the custodial death of 32-year-old Qasim Abdullah Hayat in Gujarat’s Godhra be booked.

Qasim was arrested last week for allegedly transporting cow meat. The following day, he was found dead before he could be produced before a magistrate. Citing the video footages, the police claimed that he had committed suicide while family members said that he was tortured by police leading to his death.

A delegation of Jamiat’s Gujarat unit met with Godhra Superintendent of Police, Leena Patil and demanded action against the erring police officers.

Talking to media men about their meeting with Patil, Gujarat Jamiat’s General Secretary, Prof Nisar Ahmed Ansari, who was part of the delegation, said that during the meeting they were shown CCTV footage by the SP to claim that Qasim had committed suicide.

“The CCTV footage shows that he was preparing for suicide. But the question arises when he was trying to commit suicide, where were the policemen, who were on duty? What were they doing at that time? Secondly, taking your own life is not an easy task. There must be torture or any big trouble on him. He took his life while in police custody. It suggests that torture or any other behaviour of the police would be responsible for his suicide,” said Ansari.

Brother of the victim was also part of the delegation. He asked the SP to book the erring policemen for murder. However, the SP said that everything is obvious through the CCTV footages. Hence, there is no need for the case. But the SP said that if they find anything wrong in the postmortem report, they will order an inquiry into the matter, said Ansari.

The SP also told the Jamiat delegation that a magisterial inquiry has already been started into the death. She also told the delegation that if they have any suspicion on any policeman, they will be transferred.

About the police torture, a family member of the deceased told the Indian Express: “I met Qasim on September 14 at the police station. He told me that the police beat him up and were forcing him to confess that he was carrying beef. He told me to tell his brother to seek help for him. When family came with his tiffin and tea at morning time, the police did not let the family in. They did not tell me that he had died. Someone from the police station told us that he was tortured the previous night.”

President of Jamiat, Maulana Mahmood Madani also expressed grave concern over the custodial death of Qasim in Godhra and demanded the arrest of the policemen responsible for his death.

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