Court had directed police to provide protection to woman
Srinagar: A family comprising of only women members, one of them a widow, that has been given police protection by court has accused the police of harassing them under the influence of a businessman with whom they have a property dispute.
A video widely circulated on social media on Saturday showed a woman accusing the police of helping their neighbour, Mukhtar Shah, in attempts to usurp their property and also harassing them.
The visibly distraught woman, identified as Aarifa Waheed, a resident of Hyderpora’s Al-Noor colony on Srinagar outskirts, points at policemen and policewomen and says that they were brought to “manhandle” them. “They hit us and they brought these women (cops). They are building a gate over illegal property,” she says in the video while showing her bruised finger.
She also says that the property over which the gate is being constructed is jointly owned by them and their neighbour. “They hit my mother and grandmother. We were only three women in the house at that time, I, my two kids, my mother and grandmother. They didn’t wait for us to show documents,” she said and showed civilian construction workers laying concrete and a posse of policemen present there.
She says that the case over the dispute is going on for a year in a court.
“There is a stay order on this property. Share this video as much as you can,” she says in the video, then addresses the police: “Where are you going? Put your mask down. How can you do this? We have no male member in our family.”
She further says in the video, “He (Shah) is taking over this property. We have the proper papers. He is taking over the property illegally. Help us, please. They can even murder us; we are only three women in our house.”
In the video, her mother also can be seen wailing. “I am alone with three daughters,” her mother says.
Aarifa’s sister, Insha Waheed, told Kashmir Reader that since their father’s death in April 2018, Shah was harassing them and on Saturday he crossed all limits.
“He harassed my mother especially after our father passed away. He once tried to remove an electric pole, and when we asked why you are doing this, he said, ‘I am doing this and no one can stop me’,” Insha said.
She said they visited many officials but all in vain as no one helped them, after which they decided to approach court.
Police on Sunday denied the allegations about using force after the video went viral. In a statement, the police said that the truth about the video being circulated on social media by a lady levelling allegations of use of force or rather show of force by police was not based on facts.
“There is a long pending dispute pending between the two parties on a pathway and is sub judice in different forums. A case FIR No.458/2020 under sections 379,451 and 506 IPC stands already registered at Police Station Budgam and the investigation into the matter is going on,” the police statement said.
“The police party was on the spot to assist in the implementation of order issued by Tehsildar South City Srinagar for which proper communication and request was made by concerned revenue authorities in writing. No use of force was made or any misbehaviour was done by Police. The Police party was there to aid and assist concerned revenue authorities,” it said.
“Moreover, SSP Budgam called the party to Budgam SSP Office on Sunday at 10:30 am to listen to the issue,” it added.
Aarifa Waheed said that at the SSP office, police apologised to them and said that on the order of the Tehsildar they were there.
“As per police, they were misled, and they further said that now onwards they will provide us protection,” she said.
Despite many attempts, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Mohammad Aijaz Asad, Tehsildar South City Rabiya Yousuf, and Superintendent of Police Budgam Tahir Saleem did not respond to calls.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate on January 27, 2021, while deciding the application of Aarifa Wahid, a widow, had directed non-applicant (Mukhtar Ahmad Shah) not to cause any interference to the applicants in using the common path/road in any way till the main case is disposed or decided.
Later on 30 January, 3rd Additional Munsif Srinagar directed Station House Officer (SHO) police post Humhama to provide protection to the life and property of the applicant with a further direction that the applicant be allowed to use the common pathway and her electric and drainage supply be not interfered.
He furthermore directed the non-applicants to stop threatening and intimidating the applicant.