Anti-Minority Bias in Police by DR. MOHAMMAD MANZOOR ALAM (MAY 13, 2008)
The recent split verdict of the Supreme Court on a riot case shows that not only the victims of the state machinery's partial and prejudiced behaviour complain about it but at least a section of the higher judiciary is also aware of it.
In the riots that followed the Babri Masjid demolition Sahera Khatoon and her two daughters Bimla Khatoon and Hazara Khatoon were killed in Changunzi village in Daboka district of Assam on December 14, 1992.
While Justice S B Sinha acquitted the five persons accused of the murders, Justice H S Bedi confirmed the life sentence awarded to them by another court. Justice Sinha held that the five accused had been falsely implicated in the case by Taheruddin who had a land dispute with the accused.
One of the reasons for Justice Sinha deciding in favour of acquittal was a delay of 15 hours in recording the FIR of the killings. Justice Bedi went on record accusing the police of an "anti-minority bias". Riot after riot the minorities have complained of police complicity in murderous attacks by mobs and their refusal to register FIR after the incidents.
Justice Bedi has echoed the complaints of such victims. "There is an alarming tendency on the part of several local bigwigs to prevent the initiation of action against well-known goondas and anti-social elements. We are also aware that the police are also not entirely free from blame in this regard," Justice Bedi observed.
The case has been placed before the Chief Justice of India for referring it to a larger bench. We, on our part, have always been pointing out cases of anti-minority stance of the police. We note with some satisfaction that this fact has been taken note of by one of our seniormost judges.
Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam