Mr. Arif said that it could be an attempt to mount pressure on him since he has been conducting fact-finding into alleged cases of encounters in Mewat, spread across Nuh, Mathura, Alwar and Bharatpur. He said there could be a larger conspiracy to arrest and eliminate him.
Mohammad Arif | Photo Credit: De21 Arif
Nuh, Haryana: What is being seen as a crackdown on human rights defenders, the police in Nuh, Haryana, raided human rights activist Mohammad Arif’s house in his absence on June 19.
Journalists and activists have written to Haryana CM ML Khattar seeking protection and safety for him and his family. “Abid Hussain, ASI, Mewat police, along with three other unidentified police officials barged into the house of Mohd. Arif Tain without a warrant or substantiated suspicion. They came at a time when only his mother, wife and children were at home. When the family asked the police to show a warrant, the same was denied to the family and they threatened the family. The police after entering the house without any warrant or court order, vandalized his property and made baseless accusations and unsubstantiated claims against Mohd. Arif, saying he was in possession of illegal arms, which have not been recovered,” the letter stated.
The human rights activist has been fighting against lynchings and encounter killings in Mewat and is the first responder in most of these incidents. He is also the Haryana state co-ordinator of Aman Biradari, an organisation that works for human rights.
“Mr. Arif, claimed that he was away to Punahana to conduct fact-finding into encounter cases in the area, when the police reached his house in Tain village. Four policemen, led by Assistant Sub-Inspector Abid Hussain arrived around 8 p.m. in a PCR van and carried out a search operation,” He said in a report by The Hindu.
Mohd. Arif’s response
“Mr. Hussain directed the team to search for alleged illegal weapons hidden in the house, said Mr. Arif, who claimed that he got the information about the raid from a fellow villager and ex-Block Samiti member Subedar Khan. Mr. Arif said that the raid continued for around 15 minutes. “My wife, mother and daughter were at home at that time. When he [Mr. Khan] informed me about the raid over phone, I asked him to rush to the house and film it. However, it was all over by the time he reached,” he said in the report.
Mr. Arif has featured in the Limca Book of Records for setting up India’s first community radio-based consumer helpline. He held a protest against this raid on June 20 at Gandhi Park in Nuh along with friends and well-wishers, the report stated. He sought to know as to how a raid was conducted without a warrant and demanded action against the four policemen. He said that he had been honoured by the district administration on several occasions for social work.
“Mr. Arif said that it could be an attempt to mount pressure on him since he has been conducting fact-finding into alleged cases of encounters in Mewat, spread across Nuh, Mathura, Alwar and Bharatpur. He said there could be a larger conspiracy to arrest and eliminate him. “I have been conducting fact-finding into encounters into this region over the past decade. More than 50 people, all Muslims, have been killed in several encounters since 2007. In a few cases, the police did not even hand over the body to the families of the deceased,” said Mohd. Arif in the report.
SP (Nuh) Nazneen Bhasin said she was not aware of the matter and assured to look into it.
“Mohd. Arif is a frontline Human Rights defender and activist working with Aman Biradari where is providing socio-legal support to the families of lynching victims as well as those who lost their lives in police encounters. He has an impeccable human rights record working for the Mewat community on various issues including education of girl children, rural digital empowerment, entitlements and more recently raising the issue of lynching and alleged false encounters by police before various forums including Human Rights Commissions, police officials and the courts. It is feared that through these illegal means, attempts are being made to silence Mohd. Arif’s voice against lynchings and illegal encounters and also implicate him in false legal cases which could lead to criminal charges being filed against him, his incarceration and assault on his reputation,” the letter to CM Khattar stated.