Days after a freelance journalist reporting for monthly magazine Caravan claimed he was beaten up by a mob when he had gone to report on trouble over a makeshift mosque in northeast Delhi’s Sonia Vihar, Delhi Police has submitted a detailed report to Home Minister Rajnath Singh. In their report, police said the journalist, Basit Malik (23), clearly told them that “he does not want any action”. DCP (northeast) A K Singla told The Indian Express that they have submitted the report to the MHA. “We approached Malik, but he told us over the phone that he has reached Srinagar and doesn’t want any action.”
In their report, police said that on June 7 around 11 am, they received a PCR call at Sonia Vihar police station that “many people had gathered” near Jakariya Masjid and were arguing. “Local police rushed to the spot and the situation was brought under control. The crime team of northeast district was also called for spot inspection,” the report said. On the basis of a statement made by one Akbar Ali, the owner of the plot, a case was registered on June 7 under sections 448 (house trespass), 427 (mischief causing damage) and 34 of the IPC. “Police arrested seven persons identified as Babloo alias Pinto, Sanjeev Tomar, Manoj Kumar, Rohit, Sant Lal, Mritunjay alias Chandan and Rahul Tomar,” the report added.
Explaining the preventive measures taken by them, police said a picket was immediately put up at the spot and patrolling was increased to maintain peace in the area. “Five persons… were also arrested under sections 107/151 CrPC, to prevent commission of cognizable offence. For preventive action, Kalandara under Section 107/150 was prepared against 18 persons — nine from the Hindu community and nine from Muslim community. Notices were served to alleged persons and they appeared before the special executive magistrate court from where they have been sent to jail,” the report further stated.
Police said action under Section 133 of the CrPC was taken to maintain peace and to prevent nuisance and breach of peace in the locality. “The Kalandara under Section 133 of CrPC was submitted before the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Karawal Nagar court, who passed an order to seal the disputed property… which was done in the presence of several officers of SDM’s office,” it added.
In their report, police stated that on June 9, they received a PCR call at 9.20 pm. The caller told police that “a man was caught near Annapurna Mandir in Sonia Vihar without any documents… and that he is a Pakistani national”. “Police reached the spot and found that the person in question was Basit Malik. He said he is a columnist for the magazine Caravan and had come to Sonia Vihar to look into the facts regarding the dispute over the mosque,” the report said.
Police claimed that residents took him for a “Pakistani” national. He was handed over to his brother after an enquiry. “His statement was recorded and duly signed by him and his brother. As per his statement, no cognizable offence was made out. Later, the PCR call was filed vide DD no 13B on June 10,” it added.