GUWAHATI: Indian police in Assam last week stripped and tortured a pregnant Muslim woman and her two sisters at a police outpost in the Darrang district of the restive state, according to a report published by news website New Indian Express.
The pregnant Muslim woman suffered severe injuries as a result of the beatings, and was admitted to hospital where her pregnancy was terminated. She blamed the police for the loss of her baby. A probe has been ordered against officials involved in the torture.
According to the New Indian Express, the gruesome incident took place on September 8, but only came to light on Tuesday after the victims had approached the media as the authorities did not register a case despite a complaint lodged by the victims.
Assam is already in world spotlight after publishing a controversial citizenship list in late August, where almost two million people were denied citizenship, risking mass deportations of Muslims from the area. Immigrant detention camps are also being built in the area.
Police had rounded up the three sisters – namely Minuwara Begum, Sanuwara and Rumela – from Guwahati by the personnel of Burha in connection with a kidnapping case. The women were taken into custody from their homes and tortured at the police the whole night.
“We were brutally beaten up with sticks. My pregnant sister had pleaded to spare her as she was carrying a baby in her womb but Mahendra Sarma said we were acting. She lost the baby due to the assault,” one of the sisters of the pregnant woman told New Indian Express.
Talking about the case, an Assam Police SP said: “A Hindu girl was kidnapped by a Muslim youth. They (three sisters) were picked up in connection with the case.” He said he would take necessary actions following the receipt of the medical report.
Hate crimes against Muslims are on the rise in India as the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pursues a Hindu-supremacist foreign and domestic policy. Lynchings, beef killings, and other incidents of torture are reported daily from the country.
PM Imran Khan in August said that reports in Indian and international media on Modi Govt’s ethnic cleansing of Muslims should send alarm bells ringing across the world. He added that the Assam citizenship list is part of a wider strategy by the Indian government to target Muslims.