HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on May 4, 2020 regarding the harassment and intimidation of Mr. Bilal Kagzi, a lawyer and human rights defender.
On April 16, 2020, Mr. Kagzi and a few others visited the Kosamba police station to complain about a fire at the Muhammadiya Masjid Ahle Hadees started by unknown persons. Police personnel, including Officer in Charge Mr. Sisodiya, took all details from the complainants but did not register a case till Deputy Superintendent of Police Mr. CM Jadeja intervened on April 17, 2020 following the receipt of a complaint from Mr. Kagzi.
On April 19, 2020, Mr. Kagzi visited the police station again to collect the FIR copy but was told that no FIR had been registered. Police personnel including Mr. Sisodiya and Mr. Sajid Sayyed abused him for complaining to the DSP. Mr. Sisodiya abused Mr. Kagzi for his religious identity and said he would burn all mosques in Gujarat if given the power to do so. He arrested Mr. Kagzi and seized his mobile phone and other important documents without providing any memos. He also threatened the HRD with fake encounter by placing the service revolver on his chest. The police station’s telephone line was disconnected during this period and Mr. Kagzi was granted bail only after Mr. Jadeja reached the police station at around 7.30 PM.
The FIR regarding fire at the Muhammadiya Masjid Ahle Hadees was registered thereafter and Mr. Kagzi’s belongings were returned on April 30, 2020.