Journalists and activists often get threats due to the nature of their jobs. Recently, social activist Shabnam Hashmi was harassed over the phone by a person who identified himself as sub-inspector Sandip Malik of Lajpat Nagar police station in Delhi. He reportedly told Hashmi over phone that under a “ghero aur maaro” policy, the police have been given the freedom to kill anyone who does not have a valid address proof or Aadhaar Card number.

Following a complaint by Hashmi, the South Delhi police caught the impersonator. He has been identified as Harender Malik and is a resident of Uttaranchal Colony in Loni, Ghaziabad. Malik has the habit of dialling unknown numbers in a drunken state, said Romil Baaniya, deputy commissioner of police (south east Delhi), The Wire reported.

“Why would an ordinary man talk about abhiyan and aadhaar? There are unsaid and unwritten instructions which are there and this man must have been a police informer,” said Shabnam Hashmi

Earlier on July 15, Malik had called the father of Haseen, one of the girls who had learnt stitching at Pehchaan NGO where Hashmi is a trustee. He harassed Haseen’s father and told him to come to Lajpat Nagar police station from Jaitpur in Badarpur at 7.30 in the evening. This scared the girl and her father and she called Hashmi for help. The former director of ANHAD NGO then called up the same number to inquire about the matter around 9pm the same night.

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Hashmi told SheThePeople.TV that the impersonator had hurled abuses at her. “When I called up this number, he started abusing me in all kind of filthy language. He said he will do encounter to me and asked if my phone is linked to Aadhaar card or not, which I felt was out of context. Then I cut the call because I did not have a recorder in my phone. I quickly downloaded one. Meanwhile, he called me about 5-6 times and whatever he said to me after that you can hear on the recording I have posted on the internet.”

“He threatened me saying we have got instruction that those who have not linked their Aadhaar card to their phones or have a proof of residence, we can finish them in an encounter. Second thing he said that a campaign—Ghero Aur Maaro—has been going on. These two things are very serious.”

Three days later, the police arrested the man and said that he does not belong to us and that he is a mechanic. Hashmi is certain that the police found the correct man, but doubts that he must be their “informer”.

“Why would an ordinary man talk about abhiyan and aadhaar? There are unsaid and unwritten instructions which are there and this man must have been a police informer. All police informers talk in the same tone. They are people with dubious characters, mainly drunkards and ‘Charasiya’,” said Hashmi, adding that she has dealt with many cases where young Muslims are picked up and after some days, it is declared that he is a terrorist.

The police said that Malik has studied till BA second year in Shamli, Uttar Pradesh, and that he came to Delhi in year 2000. Also, that he has made a number of calls to strangers since January.

Picture Credit: Justice News

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