Did UP police sexually torture minors in custody?

Reports of teenage boys being admitted in hospital with what could be sexual injuries
UP Police
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If the assault on an elderly cleric in Muzaffarnagar wasn’t bad enough, this horror story just got an even more sickening turn. Turns out that not only was the 66-year-old Maulana stripped and beaten brutally, many of the minor inmates of the orphanage that he ran, were also not only detained but also allegedly sexually tortured in custody. Some of these boys had to be admitted to hospital with cases of rectal bleeding.

Trouble began on December 20 last year, when Maulana Asad, a teacher at the Saadat Madarsa and caretaker of the orphanage, was beaten with a baton and dragged out of the hostel after violence at an anti-citizenship act protest nearby. The Telegraph reported that Asad has told his family he was kept for over 24 hours in a dark room at the Civil Lines barracks, where he was stripped in the biting cold and beaten. A relative of Asad told the newspaper, “He is mentally scarred. He told us the police made him wish he were dead. He was humiliated so much that he is refusing to show his face to relatives coming to see him. He sobs even in his sleep.”

The Telegraph also reports that in an adjoining room students and inmates of the orphanage, boys ranging in age from 14 to 21 were abused through the night. Salman Saeed, local Congress politician told the paper, “The boys were denied access to the toilet at times, and some of them suffered rectal bleeding from the torture.”

Another hostel resident told NewsClick, “While beating us, they abusively told us ‘this is the azadi (freedom) that you wanted’. Some of them asked us to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Har Har Mahadev’. Meanwhile, one student fell unconscious.” Muzaffarnagar Superintendent of Police Satpal Antil reportedly justified the police’s actions saying they entered the orphanage chasing armed vandals. He told NewsClick, “When the police entered the campus, they were fired upon. Left with no option, we had to retaliate. The policemen — perhaps in fit of action — could not differentiate between vandals and students. As a result, some students too were beaten up.”

In a country that has no dearth of people who promote the retributive brand of justice over reformative by demanding death penalty in cases of rape, we wonder how they would want to treat instances of possible sexual violence committed by uniformed men upon minor boys while in police custody. Can we chalk up the deafening silence to protest fatigue or do Muslim lives don’t matter any more?



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