Kosamba (Surat): Young lawyer and Human Rights
activist Bilal Kagzi, along with his clients, were severely beaten
up in village Kosamba, Surat District of Gujarat. He was beaten up
allegedly by police officials of the Kosamba Police Station within the
premises of the station. They were subsequently arrested for 5
hours and released around 3 PM. He fears of further attack on him.
Bilal Kagazi is recently based at his village in Surat, where he
practices at District and local courts and occasionally appears
for matters in the Gujarat. He has also worked for Delhi based
Human Rights’ Law Network (HRLN) as a law officer. Apart from his
legal practices, he is actively involved in various human rights
movements and campaigns both at local and national level.
The incident occurred on Wednesday morning, at around 10:30 am
when Kagzi, along with two locals, Muhammed Rafeeq and Shahnawaz
Khan, had gone to register a complaint about the destruction of
public property by a local criminal, Mohd. Haneef Malik. On the
previous night, Mohd. Haneef destroyed an RCC road of the village
and blocked the way, with the claim that the traffic that passed
through the road created a nuisance, since his house stood beside
Advocate Kagzi, told over phone from his village that in the
morning, he was approached by some locals to accompany them to the
police station to register a complaint of damage to public
property, to which he readily agreed. But as soon as they reached
the station, the police officials, instead of listening to them,
started hurling abuses.
According to Kagazi, they dragged him and
beat him severely when he tried to argue with them. The officials
involved are Inspector A G Jadav, Constable Jaswant, ASI Kanti
Surty and one driver who was in plain clothes.
They dragged Kagzi in the premises of the police station and at
point blank, threw into the lock up. They also threatened him to
kill in encounter. “Tujhe human rights ki bahut padi hui hai…tumhara
encounter hi karna padega, if you don’t stop working on all these
issues,” the police officials allegedly warned. He was also forced to sign a
Mohd. Haneef Malik, the accused, is an infamous criminal of the
area and has as many as 15-20 cases in his name, including charges
of rape. But since he is a police informer and enjoys political
patronage of the ruling party, nothing is done against him. Kagzi
fears, the police officials or the criminal can attack or forge a
case against me anytime.