March-April  2002 


Place: Mansuri Kabrastan, Roshannagar, Tulsiwadi, Vadodara
Mumtaz Bano Iqbal Bhai Gandharva

(Interviewed at Vadodara on March 1)

On Friday March 1, police from the Karelibagh police station broke down the doors of my home, arrested my husband and thrashed me mercilessly. My husband is not well, I am very worried about him. He is in central jail. Totally, 58 men from our basti were arrested. We have a cycle shop; everything from our shop and house was looted and burnt. For the last 21 days, my husband is in jail for no mistake of his. I have small children, how do we feed ourselves? My neighbour’s 20-year-old son, Siraj, has also been arrested.

Policemen indicted: Karelibagh police station.

Place: Mansuri Kabrastan, Roshannagar, Tulsiwadi, Vadodara
Husnabano Kadarbhai Mansuri

(Interviewed at Vadodara on March 21)

My elder son, Sameer, has been arrested for no rhyme or reason. "Woh saab ka order hai pakadne ka" ("Saheb’s orders are to arrest him"), is all that they said. There were four policemen and one woman, me, in the house. "Yeh police ka kaam hai kya lathi marneka? Hum jhagade mein na fasad mein" ("Is this what the police are meant to do: beating up people who have done nothing wrong?")

Policemen indicted: Four police constables from the Karelibagh police station..

Place: Mansuri Kabrastan, Roshannagar, Tulsiwadi, Vadodara
: Raeesa Sheikh Mansuri

(Interviewed at Vadodara on March 21)

My younger brother Sarfaraz was taken away with the others. There are 40 hutments in our area. We are all daily wage earners and we are falsely accused of demolishing a temple in Tulsiwadi. Why are we held responsible for what we did not do? It was a Friday, we were sitting in our houses, busy with Quran Khani (recitation of the Quran) when the attack happened. We want our men back. Whom can we trust? Aren’t the policemen there to protect our lives?

They came with iron pipes and lathis. They started shouting, "Take out the weapons." And they beat our boys and men mercilessly. Then they started lathi-charging and beating us up. When we women went in front to save our men they threatened, "We will shoot you." Which law says a 16-year-old boy can be arrested? For what? Kal hamara bachcha kharab hokar bigad jayega to aap kis ko zimadar thahraoge (If our son takes to the wrong path because of this treatment, who will you blame?) We have been living here for 20 years, we have our faith and our work. Please release our children.

Policemen indicted: Police contingent on duty at the Karelibagh Police Station, Vadodara on March 1.

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