NCW team visits Godhra to probe complaints into police torture

A Three-member team of the National Commission for Women (NCW) visited Godhra on Thursday morning to look into the complaints of torture of eight women arrested by the B Division police last month in a case of illegal cow slaughter.

The team will submit its report to the commission within a week's time. The team also met the Superintendent of Police regarding the issue.

Elsewhere, the various women's and human rights groups protested in front of the office of Panchmahals Superintendent of Police on Thursday, demanding action against the officers allegedly involved in the torture of the eight Muslim women from Gendi and Hathila areas.

An activist said: "The protest was peaceful. About 500 women and men participated in the rally demanding action against the perpetrators of the violence on the women last month."

The NCW fact-finding team listened to the various groups separately.

"We listened to all the groups including the complainants and the victims in the case. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) members told us about their problems with cow slaughter in the area while the family members of the women showed the pictures of their scars inflicted as a result of the police assault. They apprised us about the events that took place during the arrests," said Trupti Shah, a Vadodara-based activist and a member of the team.

NCW chairperson Girija Vyas condemned the alleged assaults saying that after going through some of the photographs of the violence, she decided to send a team to probe the incident.

She demanded strict action against the police personnel involved in the assault, adding that the Gujarat government is not taking the issue seriously.

"We condemn the atrocities and demand strong action ...The state government is keeping its eyes shut. They are not taking it seriously," she said.

"We have also discussed the issue with the Superintendent of Police and other officers. We are waiting for more documents in support of the issues that have been discussed today with all the parties. It will take a week's time for us to table the report to the commission," said Shah.

The illegal slaughter case has become a bone of contention between the Muslim community and the police. The relatives of the accused have alleged that the arrests made by the local police are illegal. Recently, a Godhra district court also lodged an inquiry into the matter about the torture of eight women who were allegedly falsely accused in the case and beaten up by the police.

Till date, 20 people have been arrested in the illegal slaughter case.

Cops find link with Godhra carnage accused

Police officers investigating the controversial case of illegal slaughter say that the one of the accused helped Godhra carnage accused Salim Paanwalla escape to Pakistan.

According to Godhra B Division Inspector (in-charge) R P Sanghani, who is investigating the cow slaughter case in Gendi plot, the allegations levelled by various NGOs and activists on the Godhra police are baseless. On Thursday night, Sanghani and his men seized about seven buffaloes from the area. "We have evidence that Haji Yakub Badam had helped Godhra carnage accused Salim Paanwalla to escape to Pakistan.

He is a close relative of Saud Badam, the kingpin of the cow slaughter trade in Godhra," said a police officer. Sanghani added that the women in the Muslim dominated area do not let the police do their work. "Our men would never dare to something like this. These women hurt themselves while they were stopping the police officers," said Sanghani.

He added that as there were no women police officers on duty, the Godhra B Division had no other way but to allow the male constables to arrest the women from the area.

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