How UP Police Saved A Woman From A Rapist Auto Driver And What It Tells Us About The ‘Muslims In Fear’ Trope

Swati Goel Sharma

Aug 10, 2020, 01:24 PM | Updated 01:24 PM IST

Still from a post-encounter video released by the police
Still from a post-encounter video released by the police
  • Two Muslim men kidnapped and raped a Dalit woman in an autorickshaw in the National Capital Region.
  • They also fired at the policemen when they came to the woman’s rescue on hearing her screams
  • These are strange times when a section of the media and other professional Muslim victimhood syndicates have dedicated themselves to telling us every day that the Muslims of India are a scared and vulnerable lot. This is puzzling because at the same time such articles are being written and demonstrations to the effect being held, several from the Muslim community are found to be lynching Hindu men if the latter’s pigs wander into their homes, killing and quietly burying into the ground their Hindu girlfriends, and kidnapping minor Hindu girls at gunpoint.

    The propaganda has been particularly intense in the past six years and continues regardless of the ground reality.

    A recent piece published on the left-wing website,, echoes the same propaganda. ‘After August 5, it’s hard for Indian Muslims to not feel orphaned in their motherland,’ the piece says, arguing that ‘Muslims and minorities are living in fear, the fear of losing their rights, livelihoods and access to resources’.

    It would be heartbreaking and awful if Muslims as a community were indeed living in fear in a secular nation with a Minority Affairs Ministry as the piece claims. But are they?

    Do members of a scared “minority” group kidnap and rape women belonging to the majority community on streets and fire at the police with impunity?

    It would be funny if it were not so tragic. The incident cited above took place on the night of 4 August – that is, only a few hours before the bhoomi pujan in Ayodhya that is now being claimed to have left the Indian Muslims feeling orphaned. It also, ironically, took place in the National Capital Region (NCR) where most professional Muslims victimhood organisations are headquartered.

    This correspondent has accessed four first information reports (FIR) filed in the case and they are detailed below. The woman was rescued only after a bloody encounter between the police and her rapists.

    FIR number 241/2020 filed at Knowledge Park police station, Gautam Buddh Nagar district, Uttar Pradesh, on 5 August

    This FIR records the statement of the woman, who is 19 and belongs to the Jaatav caste group. It says that around 11 pm on 4 August, she hailed an autorickshaw from Surajpur in Greater Noida to Pari Chowk, from where she had planned to take a bus to Agra district. The woman hails from Hathras district in UP and lives and works in Surajpur as househelp.

    The auto had one more man besides the driver. She dozed off during the ride but woke up when she realised the driver was taking her elsewhere. When she asked for the auto to be stopped, the man in the adjoining seat took out a pistol, threatened her and raped her.

    The two men then used the cloth around their necks to tie her hands and feet. She kept screaming in the hope someone would listen to her. After some time, the men realised that the police were chasing them. They got out of the auto leaving her behind and began to fire at the cops.

    The statement in FIR number 241
    The statement in FIR number 241

    This FIR mentioned the accused as unidentified and booked them under IPC sections 376 (rape), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement) and relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes atrocity act.

    FIR number 242/2020 filed at the same police station on 5 August

    This FIR was filed on the statement of the Knowledge Park police station house officer (SHO) Varun Panwar. It says that the police had set up a checkpoint on Hindon Pusta road. Panwar intercepted an auto-rickshaw and signalled it to stop, but it didn’t. He heard screams of a woman from inside the vehicle. He alerted other cops and began to the chase the auto himself. After some time, two men emerged out of the auto Shouting “maaro saalon ko police wale hain”, they began to fire at the cops. It was around 1 am.

    Panwar had decided that the men should not be allowed to escape. An encounter followed, and the two men were shot in the legs. Two pistols, along with live and empty cartridges, were recovered from them. The auto, bearing the number UP16BT7180, was seized.

    The statement in FIR number 242
    The statement in FIR number 242

    The FIR mentions the accused as Nadeem, a resident of Bijnor district in UP, and Imran, a resident of Surajpur. They were booked under IPC section 307 (attempt to murder).

    Two more FIRs were filed in the case against Nadeem and Imran respectively (numbers 243 and 244) on 5 August. These FIRs too were filed on the statement of SHO Panwar and booked the accused under Sections 25 (possessing firearm) and 27 (illegal use of firearm) of the Arms Act.

    The police also released a post-encounter video to the media in which Nadeem and Imran can be seen limping and being taken to the police van.

    Shalabh Mani Tripathi, press advisor to UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, tweeted that the accused could be rendered disabled forever.

    News agency PTI reported that police have found that Nadeem has been previously booked for molesting women in Greater Noida.

    This brings us back to the original question: is the community really living in fear? Does a scared person indulge in repeat offences despite coming under the police net? What cause are the professional Muslim victimhood peddlers really promoting?

    Certainly, it’s neither truth, nor peace and definitely not harmony.

    Swati Goel Sharma is a senior editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @swati_gs.

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