Police ‘Offered to Release’ Jailed Man if He Named 10 Muslims in CCTV Footage

News Desk: Twenty-eight-year-old Iliyas spent more than five months in prison but is home now. On March 17, 2020, he was arrested for allegedly vandalising Rajdhani Public School in Shiv Vihar (FIR 137/2020) during the anti-Muslim riots that took place in northeast Delhi this February. After he was granted bail in this case, he was arrested again on May 14, 2020, for allegedly vandalising and trespassing on the property of DRP Secondary School in Shiv Vihar (FIR 134/2020).

When Iliyas returned home on September 3 after being granted bail in the second matter, he said he felt he was being targeted because he was Muslim.

“’Yeh maanga rahey thhey na, azaadi?’ Aise baat kar raha thhe thane mein mujhse aur baaqi Musalmaano se (‘These were the ones asking for freedom?’ This is how they spoke to me and fellow Muslims at the police station),” he said.

When the police arrested Iliyas in the first case, he was taken to Dayalpur police station, shown footage of mob violence taken from a CCTV camera and accused of being one of the men in the mob. When he vehemently denied his presence at the scene, he alleged he was told by the police that if he could name 10 of the men in the video, he would be released immediately.

“Jaise hi maine kuch Hindu logon ke naam diye, toh police ne kaha Musalman naam bata (Just as I started naming few Hindus in the video, the police asked me to name Muslims),” Iliyas said.

Despite no evidence pointing to Iliyas’s involvement in the vandalism, he was sent to Mandoli jail. He was deeply afraid. “Mere mazhab ko mera jurm bana dia (They made my religion my crime),” he said.

S.I Pankaj Kumar, Crime Branch, who currently handles Iliyas’ case has declined to comment on the matter.

Tarkeshwar Singh, SHO, Dayalpur, was reached several times but was unavailable for comment.