The Aurangabad division bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justice Mangesh Patil and Justice SG Chapalgaonkar recently directed the police not to conduct mock drills depicting the Muslim community as terrorists till February 10.
The bench asked the public prosecutor to inform the court about the guidelines to be followed for mock drills.
The High Court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by activist Sayed Usama, wherein it was alleged that the mock drills indicated that Muslims are terrorists due to the attire and slogans raised during the exercises.
The PIL was filed with respect to the mock drills conducted at Ahmednagar, Chandrapur and Aurangabad wherein police personnel were dressed as Muslims.
The petitioner alleged that such drills are biased against Muslims and imply that terrorists belong to a particular community only.
The plea states, “The petitioner submits that the conduct of aforesaid mock drills wherein a Muslim community is deliberately shown as ‘terrorist’ by the police authorities and the State clearly shows their bias against Muslim community and sends a message that terrorists have a particular religion and this act of the police amounts to defaming the Muslim community.”
It was stated that dressed-up men were shouting “Nara-e-Takbeer” and “Allahu Akbar”.
The PIL states that such drills are against the right to dignity under Article 21 and are discriminatory against the community which is prohibited under Article 14 of the Constitution.
The High Court has directed the police not to conduct such mock drills till the next hearing, which is scheduled on February 10.
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