A driver working with the state bus operator has approached the Nashik court, alleging a violation of his human rights by two police officers and a builder.
Based in Sarkarwada in Nashik, and employed with Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, Sayyed Bashir (44) alleged the policemen and builder had threatened him to give up his land and had detained him illegally.
Bashir claimed the colonial British had gifted his forefathers seven hectares of land in 1861. “There have been numerous illegal transfers and sale of the land from one party to another,” his advocate R.S. Targe said.
In January 2009, Bashir filed a civil suit against a builder, Santosh Muthiyan, and sought to quash all the transfers and sale of his land. “Despite all those illegal transfers of that plot, we found it was still in the name of Muthiyan,” said Targe.
“From December last year, Vivek Saraf, a inspector with the Nashik crime branch, and a constable, began calling me and my three brothers, to his office and threatening us to withdraw the suit or face dire consequences,” said Bashir. One of Bashir’s brothers is a constable.
Bashir said Saraf told him that Muthiyan, who was at Saraf’s office on numerous occasions when Bashir went there, had a “big hold” in the police department, and could get Bashir and his family implicated in an extortion case if the suit was not withdrawn.
On December 2, Saraf called Bashir and his brothers to his office and did not let them go until late at night. “For four days after that, they called us there (Saraf’s office) during the day and did not allow us to go home till late in the night,” said Bashir. Targe added that in Saraf’s office, the trio was made to kneel for hours.
“They threatened to get my constable brother suspended or transferred to a Naxalite area if we didn’t meet their demands,” Bashir said.
He adding that on December 5, 2009, he was called to the crime branch and forcefully made to sign some papers brought by Muthiyan. “We were taken to the sub-registrar’s office and our signatures and thumb prints taken on blank paper.”
Saraf has denied the allegations, and said: “Whatever I want to say I will say before the court.”