Northeast Delhi Riots: Doctor Who Saved Lives, Named In Riots Case; Alleges Threat From Police, Rowdies
Syed Ali Ahmed | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI, JULY 2—Dr. Mohammed Ehtesham Anwar of Al-Hind Hospital in Mustafabad, who did a yeoman’s service in treating those injured during February 24-26 riots in Northeast Delhi, is now being accused of having organised the protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act from February 15 and engineering violence from February 23. He has also been named in the police chargesheet in the murder of a 20-year-old Dilbag Negi.
Two of his mobile phones have been seized by the police. He was questioned thrice by the Crime Branch and Special of the Delhi Police. He says he was questioned about protests against CAA and NRC, not about riots. He alleges that he was also threatened not only by rowdies on Whatsapp of his new phone, but by the police as well.
"I am very muich disturbed from inclusion of my name in the chargesheet. An attempt is being made to defame the fair profession of a doctor", he says.
“The reason for all this is that I have have treated injured persons”, says Dr. Anwar. Had Dr. Anwar not provided treatment to the injured persons, the death toll in the riots could have been much more because there were no other medical facilities available in the area and it was also not possible to shift the injured people immediately to government hospitals because the rioters were attacking even ambulances.
The doctor, who deserves appreciation for what he did during the riots, has been issued a notice by the Delhi Police Special Cell for his personal appearance for questioning in the FIR No. 0059 dated 06.03.2020, under sections 120 B, 124 A, 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 353, 186, 212, 395, 427, 435, 436, 452, 454, 147, 148, 149, 109, 114, 153A of IPC.
Besides, the notice sent to him also mentions Sections 13, 16, 17, 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Sections 3 and 4 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and under Arms Act. During the course of investigation, the police have booked and arrested anti-CAA protesters and students from Jamia Millia Islamia under provisions of UAPA in connection with FIR NO. 0059. The names of several activists like Yogendra Yadav, Harsh Mander and advocate D S Bindra, an advocate, who ran a langar at Shaheen Bagh, have been mentioned in the chargesheet filed by the police in the Northeast Delhi riots.
“The police and the government has given me reward for treating riot victims free of cost by mentioning my names in the chargsheet”, said Dr Anwar, owner of Al Hind Hospital in Old Mustafabad. He did a heroic job by treating screaming people in pain and getting them admitted to well-equipped government hospitals.
He said, “Ground floor and second floor of my hospital was full of riot victims with grievous injuries on February 24 and February 25. Two bodies were also brought to my hospital. The riot started on February 24. As hospital was short of beds, patients were made to lie on the floor. My hospital was short of staff also. My family members and neighbours worked like paramedical team. Barbers in neighbourhood came to tonsure hair of patients who sustained head injuries. I cannot forget the horrible scene that is still haunting my mind”.
“When I asked the victims what happened, they told me that RSS goondas along with local police attacked us in Chand Bagh”, the doctor alleges.
“In the evening, I received calls that a large number of injured were at Chand Bagh. If they do not get first aid, they will die. I reached there, gave them first aid and came back to my Al Hind Hospital. Again I received a call that Shahid, an auto driver was killed and being buried by the police in Chand Bagh graveyard without getting done post-mortem of his body. I went to the graveyard, convinced the police and took the body to GTB hospital for post-mortem”, Dr. Anwar said.
As there was violence, arson and loot everywhere, “I asked the GTB hospital staff for an official vehicle to escort me back to my hospital but the doctors on duty refused. The police also did not help me. I reached there with the help of some friends”, he said.
Dr. Anwar said, “I wanted to shift the grievously injured victims to well equipped government hospitals so that their lives could be saved. But there was no ambulance, no PCR van to take them to government hospitals. I kept ringing the CAT, Police Control Room but there was nobody on duty to attend the call. Finally, with the help of my advocate friends, I talked to Justice S. Muralidhar of Delhi High Court, seeking his help. The PCR vans and ambulances came after Justice Muralidhar talked to the authorities concerned”.
“The violence also subsided following the call of Justice Muralidhar to the Delhi Police. Had he not called the police, more casualties would have taken place”, said Dr Anwar.
Justice Muralidhar, according to Dr. Anwar, told the police to visit the Al Hind hospital with two police companies.
Justice Muralidhar also slammed the police for its failure in controlling the riot. He had also asked the police to register an FIR against BJP leader Kapil Mishra after he saw a rioting video. Unfortunately, he was transferred to Punjab and Haryana High Court the very next day.
The police personnel who came with ambulance allegedly threatened the doctor. The policeman, according to Dr. Anwar, allegedly said, “Doctor yeh bahut upar ka mamla hai. Tum zyada chakkar me na paro. Sirf tumhari wajah se yeh sab mamla itna bara ho gaya hai. Nahi to kisi ko pata bhi nahi chalta.” (Doctor, this is an issue involving people at a very high level. Don’t involve yourself in this. It is because of you this has become such a big issue. Otherwise, nobody would have known)”.
Dr. Anwar alleged, “The police also told me that I should have not told all this to a judge. Now you will bear the brunt. You will be framed in the case.”
“The threat of the police proved true when I received a notice from the Delhi Police Crime Branch for questioning. I was questioned thrice by the Crime Branch. When the case was transferred to the Special Cell, I was questioned by the sleuths of Special Cell at Lodhi Colony. I was called at 11 a.m. and left at 9 p.m. They just asked me about the protest against the CAA and NRC organized at Brijpuri Pulia like who were funding, distributed food, served tea and water among the protesters. The police also asked me who delivered speech at the protest site”, said Dr. Anwar.
“I told the police that I am a physician and have nothing to do with protest and other activities of the people. The police asked nothing about my profession”, said Dr Anwar. Dr. Anwar is shocked about the police behaviour who were not worried about 53 people having been killed, hundreds of others injured, properties worth thousands of crores of rupees burnt by the rioters and hundreds of people displaced as their houses and businesses were reduced to ashes.
Dr. Anwar alleges that he also received threats on his WhatsApp from local and international phone numbers.
After receiving threat messages, he submitted a complaint on May 15 to Home Minister, Prime Minister, National Human Rights Commission, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, local police, DCP of Crime Branch, DCP of Special Cell, seeking inquiry into the threat messages and demanded security.
The threat messages received on whatsapp read, “Tumhari wajah se Katuon ko bari taadad me marne ka plan fail ho gaya hai. Ham tumeh nahi chorenge.” (It is because of you our plan for killing Muslims in a large number, has failed. We will not spare you.)
“However, I have not been provided any security so far”, says Dr. Anwar.
He also complained against sleuths of Delhi Police Special Cell. Sleuths during questioning, he alleged, told him, “Teri sari doctori nikal denge. Saale tere judge se baat karne ki wajah se sara plan fail ho gaya hai. Iska harjana yeh ke tumeh wakt aane par ab ek kaam batayenge. Woh karna hai”(We will make you forget your medical profession. Idiot! it is because of your call to the judge that entire plan failed. The only compensation of the damage is that we will assign you a work at an appropriate time and you will have to do it).
When the doctor asked for the work, the sleuths allegedly told Dr. Anwar said, “woh kaam kuchh bhi ho sakta hai – sahi bhi, galat bhi. Woh tumeh karna hi hoga. Nahi to tumahre upar UAPA laga denge. Yeh TADA se khatarnak hai. Kam se kam 20 saal jail me rahoge. Ghar, parivar, clinic sab barbad ho jayega”(It may be any work: legal or illegal. You will have to carry it out. Otherwise, we will slap charges under UAPA against you. It is more dangerous than TADA. You will spend at least 20 years in jail. Your house, family, clinic, everything will be ruined).
Narrating all this to this scribe from India Tomorrow, Dr Anwar said that the police were not worried about who were behind the riots. “Their worry is for the protest. This is shocking”, said Dr Anwar.
Al Hind hospital owner said that he was harassed by the police so much that he had lost his health. “I developed diarrhoea and swelling in my hand after police questioning”, he claimed.
Dr. Anwar, who hails from Champaran in Bihar, said that there are 700 houses of Hindus and a number of temples in Mustafabad. But not a single house and temple was set ablaze.
He alleged, “It was a pre-planned riot by a vested group. The rioters were outsiders. They had closed all entry and exit points of Muslim localities. They killed innocent Muslims in areas where they are in minority. Police did nothing to check the violence”.