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Delhi Police "raided" Kashmiris ahead of Independence Day

Aditya Menon | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:47 IST

It wasn't just Jamia Millia Islamia where Delhi police conducted "raids" in the run-up to Independence Day.

There have been reports of police conducting checks on Sunday at many locations. Catch was able to verify two of these reports.

Catch spoke to Maqbool (name changed), a Kashmiri journalist based in Delhi, who provided a detailed account of what happened. Specific details have been omitted to protect his identity.

The account

"My door rang at 4 am on Sunday morning. Even before I could gather my senses, the person rang the bell once again and continued ringing until I opened the door. There were 8 armed policemen standing in front of me. I froze as they pushed me and entered my apartment.

They searched every room and asked me a volley of questions 'Are you Kashmiri? Where in Kashmir? Are you married? Why are you in Delhi? For how long?' They asked for my ID, examined my bank cards and probed every corner of my wallet with their fingers. They showed me a picture of a man and asked me if I knew him. The cops told me that he is missing and they are looking for him.

They were around for about half an hour and by the time they left, I was shaking with fear. I waited for the morning light and called up a colleague. I rushed to his place as I felt scared to remain at the apartment alone."

There were 8 armed policemen in front of me. I froze as they pushed me and entered my apartment.

Maqbool says he was transported back to his childhood in the 1990s Kashmir, when midnight raids were commonplace and often violent.

Maqbool adds that the policemen checked all the residents in his building, including non-Kashmiris. But to his knowledge, nearly all the residents are Muslims.

Other "raids"

The other "raid" reported was that of a Kashmiri researcher residing in South Delhi. Apparently he was picked up by the police on Sunday and let off after a few hours. He is said to have been questioned about his work, his antecedents in Kashmir and, interestingly, about his social media activity. There are a number of other reports about Kashmiris being questioned on Sunday, but they could not be verified.

It is alleged that the Delhi police conducted raids at Jamia Millia Islamia on Saturday afternoon. Students say that cops belonging to the Delhi Police special cell barged into the hostel campus and started shooting videos.

The students gathered in protest soon after and demanded action against the policemen behind the "raids".

Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat says he has no information about any of these "raids".

"I am not aware of any of these events. Ask the concerned police stations," Bhagat told Catch.

First published: 15 August 2016, 7:09 IST
Aditya Menon @AdityaMenon22

An incurable addiction to politics made Aditya try his luck as a political researcher as well as wannabe neta. Having failed at both, he settled for the only realistic option left: journalism. Before joining Catch as associate editor, he wrote and reported on politics and policy for the India Today group for five years. He can travel great distances for a good meal or a good chat, preferably both.