‘I was framed under POCSO Act for fighting drug peddlers’

Fahim from Nizamuddin accuses Delhi Police of being hand-in-glove with the local drug peddlers

NH Photo by Vipin
NH Photo by Vipin

Dhairya Maheshwari

I have been protesting the sale of drugs in Nizamuddin, my neighbourhood, for five years now. Substance abuse is rampant around this place, with children as young as eight beginning to use drugs such as heroin and other chemical fluids.

Our family has been living in Nizamuddin for five generations. I am 42-years-old and I have two sons, both of whom go to Delhi Public School.

Back in 2012, my mother was shot in the chest by a person who was later found to be the kingpin of a flourishing drug racket. His name is Rafique and he used to supply drugs to dealers in Nizamuddin. He went after my mother’s life was because she had extremely vocal about the drug dealings in the locality since 1984. My younger brother (28) had become a drug addict, ruining his education and career prospects. He is now undergoing rehabilitation at a nursing home in Old Delhi.

My mother survived the attack, but she wasn’t, however, able to continue with her anti-drug campaign. It was only after the incident that I began campaigning against the drug peddlers in the neighbourhood. They filed a case against me also.

My perseverance antagonised both the cops and the dealers. On June 26, I was booked under sections 354-B/509/506 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act. I wrote to Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik on June 28, informing him that I was being framed for raising my voice. The person who filed an FIR against me is related to one of the drug peddlers in the area.

I have been a driver since 1992. Earlier, I used to own a car previously, but now I drive a rented car. Most of my savings have gone into my mother’s treatment and my case. Our family has paid a heavy price for fighting the drug peddlers in the locality.

I first approached the local police station in 2012, asking them to take action against the thriving drug trade in the area. The cops let the dealers go after accepting a bribe and the illegal activities continued. I then approached the local politicians, in the hope that they would understand the situation in the neighbourhood.

Farhad Suri, the former councillor who elected on a Congress ticket, assured us in 2015 that he would get involved and ensure that the drug trade would end. However, his word turned out to be an empty promise.

More recently, we approached our local Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator Praveen Kumar. I also actively campaigned for AAP in the lead-up to the state elections, hoping that the drug trade would end once AAP came to power. In fact, the local poll manifesto of AAP had included anti-drug campaigning too. Unfortunately, like earlier politicians, Kumar failed act.

The indifference of local politicians and authorities made me approach the Narcotics Control Bureau. After my complaint, they arrested a few and they were charged under relevant laws. However, even they didn’t touch the source of the drugs. I had even written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inform him about the neighbourhood in August when the case was being heard in the Delhi High Court.

I was remanded and sent to Tihar Jail on October 3. I was in prison for a month until November 3. I got out on bail after submitting a Rs 50,000 bond. The case hasn’t been closed yet. But, I will lodge a defamation case against the Delhi Police for targeting me based on a case filed by drug dealers.

(As told by Fahim)

(The story was first carried in National Herald on Sunday).

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Published: 05 Dec 2017, 4:20 PM