Hyderabad: A fact finding team comprising eminent citizens Thursday termed the burning to death of the 11-year-old boy, Shaikh Mustafa, as a clear case of sexual assault and murder by two military persons.
The fact finding team which comprised Kaneez Fathima, Adv. Gulam Rabbani, Adv. Ismail Khan (Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee), D. Kotesh & Gurram Seetaramulu (Research scholars, English and Foreign Languages University), D. Nagaraju, Sogra Begum (Activists), Tathagata Sengupta (Asst. Professor, HCU), Adv. Greeshma Rai, Kaveri Indira (Faculty Fellow, HCU), Arpita Kanjilal (Research Scholar, HCU) also accused the military officials of shielding the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
"After going through all the facts and statements of various people, it is evident that this is purely a case of sodomy by two military men with a boy of 11 years old", the fact finding team concluded in its report.
"It is sheer a matter of shame for the whole military personnel. The immorality and shamelessness among the army is growing to such an extent that they are becoming a burden for the Indian government and the most unreliable and mistrustful for the civil society", the team said.
An 11 year old boy Shaik Mustafa was burnt to death by two military guards on October 08, 2014 near the ‘Signal equipment tools’ area in the Garrison located beside Sarojini Devi eye hospital, Mehdipatnam. The boy was the resident of Siddiq Nagar which is located inside the Military garrison which is infact encircled by the Military cantonment.
"Though they are recruited for the purpose of the security and protection of the Indian citizens, they are turning to be the enemies of the civilians. They have become threat for the civilians", it said.
"This is not the first kind of incident; there are many more serious crimes by the military personnel in the cantonment areas where most of the cases go unreported and unseen. Just two months back a minor girl was raped and killed by the army of Secunderabad cantonment", the team said in its reprt.
"The army regiments at the borders of the country and in Jammu & Kashmir as well north-east states suspect every single civilian and behave in a violent way with them. The same mindset is seen in the military personnel in Hyderabad and Secunderabad cantonments.
"As there are many political forces involved not only in this case but also in the larger issues that are happening in various cantonments in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, there is dire need for CBI inquiry into this case, which should be completed in a very short period of time and made public so that the further harassment and assaults by the military personnel are controlled", the report said.
"It is high time that the Indian government at the larger level and the Telangana government at the state level should intervene in this matter and take serious steps in withdrawing the military cantonments from Hyderabad and Secunderabad areas and shift them at the outskirts of the cities.
"In the past when the lands were allotted for the military cantonments, the civilian population of the cities was very much less. But now the population of the twin cities i.e. Hyderabad and Secunderabad has increased tremendously. So these military cantonments should not be continued in the city areas. Therefore, these cantonments should be shifted immediately to the outskirts of the cities", the report said.
"If at all these assaults and harassment by the military personnel continue with the civilians as is presently witnessed in Mehdipatnam cantonment and Secunderabad cantonment, people will lose faith in the military personnel and will have no respect towards them.
"Therefore, not only Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee but all the civilians of the twin cities strongly feel that the cantonments be shifted immediately to the outskirts of the twin cities and save the citizens from the harassment and assault by the military personnel", the report said.