Hyderabad police go slow on ‘sedition’ probe against two sisters

Deccan Chronicle.  | Vikram Sharma

Nation, Current Affairs

Sisters were protesting Ayodhya verdict of top court.

The Supreme Court (Representational Image)

Hyderabad: When they first registered a sedition cases against two Muslim women — both daughters of a cleric — in Saidabad for spreading communal hatred during a congregation against the Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya in mid-November, the Hyderabad police had come in for sharp criticism for acting in haste.

Now, more than a month later, the Hyderabad police appear to have had second thoughts over their own move as they have reportedly decided not to pursue the case any further and eventually close the matter for good. Officially though, they maintain that the case is “under investigation.”

On November 15, the Saidabad police had registered a sedition case under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code against the daughters of well known cleric Maulana Abdul Aleem Islahi — Shabista and Zille Huma — and a group of women for allegedly spreading communal hatred during a congregation held at Idgah Ujale Shah in Saidabad against the Ayodhya verdict.

Sources in the know of developments disclosed to Deccan Chronicle that just days after the sedition case was registered, several telephone calls were exchanged between senior IPS officers and certain politicians both from the ruling party and another party which is friendly to the ruling dispensation.

Though endless rounds of discussions took place over the  sedition charges and whether or not it was warranted in this case, sources said that the government made it clear that the matter be left there and no further action need follow, which otherwise could invite the wrath of the people. The opinion among some of them was that the women had the right to protest and it actually did not warrant registering of sedition cases.

That the police have had second thoughts about registering a sedition case becomes clear when one looks at the progress, or lack of it, of the investigation. The investigators have not even summoned Shabista and Zille Hume or any other woman present during the congregation to question them. The police officials who took suo motu action against the protesting women, have not made any effort to gather evidence of the alleged hate utterances. This was the first such case registered by the police since the Supreme Court verdict in favour of construction of the Ram temple was delivered on November 9.

Interestingly, the police had initially denied them permission to hold the congregation but later granted conditional accord on the assurance that they would not try to disrupt peace and refrain from communal utterances.

“The case is under investigation and we are yet to gather evidence,” Saidabad inspector K. Srinivas told Deccan Chronicle. Asked whether the women have been summoned anytime after the case was registered, the Inspector replied in the negative.  

 A case under sections 153 (A&B) (promoting enmity and hatred between the two communities) and 295 A of IPC (deliberate and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings) had also been registered against the sister.

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