Director of play based on Batla House encounter, allegedly detained for few hours

A probable attempt by the police to intimidate the theatre person to restrain him from showcasing a play which could hurt the image of the police force.

In the wee hours of the morning of November 12, Shahid Kabeer, a theatre artist and founder of Kabeera Foundation located in Andheri area of Mumbai was allegedly forcefully taken to the D.N. Nagar Police station on a false complaint. Shahid Kabeer was conducting rehearsals for a play named “Tafteesh” which is based on the story of the much controversial Batla House encounter of 2008.

The infamous Batla House encounter case was touted to be fake by many human rights activists back then, when the incident took place, which ended up in the death of two alleged terrorists and one encounter specialist police inspector. For many years, questions have been raised on whether this was a real encounter or a fake one. Such questions have been humiliating for the police force and have raised questions on their credibility, even though it was a case of the Delhi police.

Once taken to the police station, the police allegedly demanded from Shahid Kabeer his identity documents and questioned him why he was showing a play on Batla House encounter case which is against the police. The police even advised him to refrain from going ahead with showcasing of the said play. The police did not provide Mr. Kabeer any written complaint or order which warranted his detention for even a brief period. He was allowed to go in the afternoon, the same day. This could have been an attempt of the police to intimidate Mr. Kabeer who is the Director of the play. The play is scheduled to be showcased in Andheri West on November 14.

Using intimidation tactics like this is not a new practice and it is usually done by police when they receive a complaint or information in apprehension of commission of a crime. The police seemed to have abused their position by allegedly detaining a theatre person, questioning him for a few hours merely because he was using his freedom of expression to showcase a controversial and humiliating encounter case.



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