Indore: Muslim Bangle Seller’s Bail Case Drags on
The Muslim bangle seller in Indore, Taslim Ali, has been in jail for over two months now. After being brutally beaten up by a mob publicly for his religious identity in Indore, he was implicated in an alleged molestation case and charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Since Ali has applied for bail in the Madhya Pradesh High Court, his hearing has been adjourned twice on the request of the government, and once on his own lawyer's request. His bail hearing is now posted for hearing on November 9, increasing his incarceration by ten more days.
On August 22, he was thrashed by a mob, with his wares looted. In the video that did the rounds online, one could see that someone was tugging at his shirt and other men were emptying his bag full of bangles he meant to sell to find out what he is carrying in his bag. After finding just multiple packs of bangles the man calls out to women in the market and asks them to come and pick up as many bangles as they want.
After this news broke out, the state Home Minister Narottam Mishra had told reporters that he was selling bangles to women by posing as a Hindu and eventually a case was registered against the young man, who was a victim of the mob assault.
He was arrested on the complaint of the Class VI student who stated that the man introduced himself as Golu son of Mohar Singh (instead of Taslim Ali) and molested her while her mother had gone inside the house to get money to pay for the bangles purchased.
A case was registered against him under sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment), 467 (Forgery of a valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (Using as genuine a forged), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC as well as under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
His matter was first called out on October 4, where the government asked for more time to file their replies. The order delivered by Justice Pranay Verma said, “As prayed by the learned counsel for the respondent/State, list the matter on 08.10.2021.”
On October 8, the counsel for the government argued that they needed a week’s time to produce the case diary. This delayed Taslim’s bail hearing to two weeks as the next hearing was scheduled to take place on October 25.
As another dilatory tactic, on October 25, the government informed the court that the case diary was available but the case diary of cross case was not in their possession. This led the court to adjourn the matter to October 28. Yesterday, on October 28, the high court again adjourned the matter for hearing till November 9, but this was a request from Ali’s lawyer Ehtesham Hashmi.
On the other hand, Ali’s attackers, who were caught in a video assaulting him, are already out on bail. As per media reports, 14 people were booked for assault.
According to an Article 14 report, the 25-year-old Ali’s wife and five children have been depending on relatives and friends for food and care, in addition to the mental trauma of complicated legal procedures. While Ali’s younger brother Salman is home, another brother, Jamal, is busy making the rounds of advocates and courts every day in Indore, as per the publication.
Taslim Ali moved the high court, when in August, the sessions court had denied him bail after ruling that the allegations against him were of grave nature.
The orders may be read here:
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