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Gujarat HC to hear contempt case against 33 police personnel on Sep 13


Ahmedabad, September 8 : More than six weeks since it issued notice to 33 police personnel in connection with a contempt petition, the Gujarat High Court on Friday announced that no further extensions would be granted to the accused officers.

A division bench of Justices Ashutosh Shastri and D.A. Joshi has scheduled the matter for hearing on September 13, following a submission by petitioners’ advocate, A.J. Yagnik that the accused policemen have been continuously putting pressure on the petitioners, who remain in custody.

The case relates to public flogging on June 16 in Junagadh, triggered by violent clashes that erupted following the issuance of demolition notices by the local civic body concerning five Islamic religious structures.

A division bench had earlier issued notices to the respondent policemen on July 24, in response to a contempt application filed by Jakir Yusufbhai Makwana, 42, a Scheduled Tribe Siddi, and Sajid Kalamuddin Ansari, 36.

Originally, these notices were returnable by August 7.

However, as stated by Yagnik, none of the 33 respondent police personnel have submitted their affidavits in replies to address the contentions raised in the contempt petition.

The two petitioners are presently in judicial custody, facing allegations of rioting and stone pelting. Their petition seeks the initiation of contempt proceedings against the 33 police personnel, accusing them of violating Supreme Court guidelines as outlined in the D.K. Basu judgment.

According to the petitioners, while they were in police custody, the police threatened them with “dire consequences” if they dared to complain about the alleged atrocities they suffered, including the public flogging incident that occurred when they were presented before the magistrate.

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