New Delhi: Chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) Zafarul Islam Khan has sent a letter to District Magistrate (DM) of Northeast Delhi Shashi Kausal, seeking an urgent inquiry into allegations of misbehaviour and abusive language used by Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Karawal Nagar Puneet Kumar Patel for the victims of the Delhi riots, who were demanding compensation.
In the letter, which was sent via email Tuesday night, Khan said: “Some victims of the violence in the Northeast Delhi district were unable to file their compensation forms. Now Hon’ble Delhi High Court has directed the authorities to restart the process.”
“As a result, some victims approached SDM, Karawal Nagar, to file their forms, but allegedly he misbehaved with them rudely and used abusive language, so much so that some of the victims were left in tears,” he wrote.
Khan posted the letter on Twitter Tuesday and said it will be delivered to the DM by post too.
Delhi Minorities Commission's notice to District Magistrate (NORTH EAST) over reports of harassment of Delhi Riot victims by SDM Karawal Nagar pic.twitter.com/9C2dGeM03C
— Zafarul-Islam Khan (@khan_zafarul) July 7, 2020
Khan, in his letter, attached lawyer Mishika Singh’s tweets regarding the alleged misbehaviour by SDM Patel.
Singh tweeted Tuesday, saying the SDM of Karawal Nagar “tortured” the riot victims.
“SDM Karawal Nagar, Puneet Kumar Patel, continues to harass the victims. Today, Patel used abusive language and tortured the victims for over 3-4 hours. Victims, who left his office, have called their lawyers crying on the phone telling the lawyers that the SDM misbehaved with them and abused them order to scare them.”
Despite getting directions from the #DelhiHighCourt twice stating that compensation be paid to victims of #DelhiRiots, SDM Karawal Nagar, Puneet Kumar Patel, continues to harass the victims. Today, Patel used abusive language and tortured the victims for over 3-4 hours.
— Mishika (@mishikasingh) July 6, 2020
Khan, in his letter, has asked for an urgent inquiry into the matter and immediate action if the allegations are found to be true. He has asked the DM to file a reply by 10 July.
Not surprised to see the allegations: Khan
Speaking to ThePrint, Khan said he wrote the letter based on the information on social media and he had no direct or personal information regarding the matter. He said he hasn’t spoken to Singh.
“Based on the emails, phone calls and other correspondence I have had with people from the area right from the beginning, I was not surprised when I saw such allegations being raised on social media, which is why I raised the matter,” the DMC chief added.
Of all the correspondence, Khan said the main concern of the people from the area was that so many boys aged 18-30 years were arrested and picked up in connection with the riots, especially during the lockdown.
“We raised the matter with the Delhi Police. However, they replied saying that there was evidence against whoever was being picked up,” he said.
‘False’ allegations of misbehaviour with riot victims
DM Shashi Kaushal, however, told ThePrint she hasn’t received any letter from Khan.
On allegations of misbehaviour by SDM Patel, the DM said such reports were false and nothing of the sort has taken place.
“All the SDMs are working very hard to ensure that those affected in the riots, especially in Seelampur, Karawal Nagar, Shahdara, Yamuna Vihar, get compensation,” said Kaushal.
“All SDMs and other officers have been working in a very mature and coordinated manner. The question of misbehaviour does not arise. Why will anyone holding an official position misbehave,” she asked.