Social activist Shabnam Hashmi has written to the Delhi Police Commissioner alleging a threat to her life by a person who claimed to be a police sub-inspector. According to Hashmi, the accused told her: “Ek abhiyan chal raha hai — ghero aur maaro (a campaign is being run — surround and kill)” and that she could be killed for not having an Aadhaar card. According to Hashmi, initially, Mohammad Haseen, a resident of Jaitpur extension, got a call from the accused asking him to come to Lajpat Nagar police station.
“The so-called policeman told me there is a complaint against me, so I have to report to the police station. I told him I drive an autorickshaw in Noida and have not been to Lajpat Nagar in a long time. But he kept on abusing me and using foul language,” said Haseen.
Worried, Haseen approached Farida Khan, director of Pehchan, a voluntary organisation of which Hashmi is a founding trustee. The organisation teaches school dropouts and runs sewing classes for women. Haseen’s wife had learnt sewing there.
“Usually, when someone is called by police at night, we call the officer and try to arrange a lawyer to go with the person. So, I called the number that Haseen got a call from. The conversation was full of abuses. He claimed he was sub-inspector Sandeep Malik from Lajpat Nagar,” said Hashmi at a press conference on Saturday. However, Deputy Commissioner of Police (southeast) Romil Baaniya said, “There is no one by the name Sandeep Malik at Lajpat Nagar police station.”
Since she wanted to record the call, Hashmi said she hung up, downloaded a voice recorder, and called him back. Hashmi alleged the accused then threatened to kill her. In the purported conversation, the man can be heard saying: “This law has come up in Parliament… When soldiers are dying on the border, you people are not linking your Aadhaar and identity card.”
During the press conference, Hashmi sought answers from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Delhi Police on “whether such a campaign is being run against members of the minority community and Dalits”. Sharing the stage with Hashmi were Saba Dewan, the documentary filmmaker behind the #NotInMyName campaign and former Planning Commission member Syeda Saiyidain Hameed.