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Bidar sedition case: Police admit errors in interrogating students

Bidar sedition case: Police admit errors in interrogating students

Bengaluru: After more than one and a half years, the Karnataka police have admitted that its officers erred while questioning school students in the sedition case charged against two women in Bidar district, reports The News Minute.

The mother of a student and a teacher from Shaheen School was jailed for two weeks on sedition charges for a play staged in the school.

The current Superintendent of Police in Bidar, Nagesh DL, filed an affidavit in the Karnataka High Court, in which he stated that the officers were uniformed with armed weapons while questioning students which was against the rules.

He said that it was the responsibility of the investigating officer- then Deputy Superintendent of Police Basaveshwara Hira- to ensure all rules are maintained. Basaveshwara was not in uniform, but his subordinates were in uniform and armed while conversing with the students. Thus the 86 (5) of the Juvenile Justice Model Rules 2016 was violated. He noted that some enquiries with the cops involved in the case found that the subordinate officers did not communicate with students.

The SP also informed the court that disciplinary actions had been recommended against the investigating officers.

On January 26th,2020, a complaint was registered in the Bidar New Town police station by a right-wing activist, Nilesh Rakshala, about a play staged in the Shaheen Primary and High School earlier.

Based on the complaint, police arrested Nazbunissa, the mother of a student and teacher, Fareeda Beegum. Police in uniform, led by DSP Hira, visited the school multiple times to question the students who were involved in the play. They questioned Nazbunissa's daughter and another student repeatedly.

They asked about who scripted the play and the dialogues. The play, which challenged CAA and NRC, allegedly contained derogatory remarks about the prime minister.

After the two women were arrested and put in jail, police pursued sedition charges. Absence of the judge, missing prosecutors etc., among other reasons, the bail hearing got delayed for more than two weeks.

In the end, the district court granted them bail, noting that there was nothing in the play to charge treason.

Though the women were released, no action was taken against the police officers for the lapse during the investigation.

While hearing a petition filed by Nayana Jyothi Jhawar and South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring in August 2021, the Karnataka High Court observed that the police violated the Juvenile Justice Act.

It added that Special Juvenile Police Unit for Children sub-rule 5 stated that police officers should wear plain clothes when interacting with children. For dealing with a girl child, women police personnel should be engaged.

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TAGS:Bidar sedition case karnataka police 
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