‘Will Self-Immolate At SP’s Office If Not Heard’. A Dalit Father’s Fight For Justice After Seven-Year-Old Son’s ‘Forced Circumcision’
A year has passed since the parents of a seven-year-old boy in Madhya Pradesh filed a case against their neighbour, alleging he carried out their child’s forced circumcision.
The parents are Hindus and belong to a scheduled caste, while the neighbour is Muslim.
Alleging that the administration and police have failed to deliver justice to his son, father of the boy, named Paapun Bain, has threatened self-immolation outside the Jabalpur police commissioner’s office.
He has got printed and distributed pamphlets titled (translated) ‘Protest against atrocity on a minor son of a Dalit family in Khamariya, Jabalpur’.
The pamphlet appeals to people to join him in his efforts to get some people booked under the ‘Harijan Act’ (Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act).
You can see the pamphlet below:
He has identified the people as Mansoor Khan (his neighbour against whom he gave a complaint last year), Mansoor’s son Faizu (also a minor, but booked by police in the case) and some police officers from the Khamariya police station namely Nirupa Pandey (who filed the FIR), and Amit Singh and Neelam Singh.
Paapun told Swarajya over the phone yesterday (11 February) that he would go to police commissioner’s office in Jabalpur on 13 February and stage a dharna outside it, with whoever accompanies him from his “samaj” (community). “If I do not get a fair hearing, I will self-immolate at the SP’s office,” he said.
He said that the local magistrate dismissed the police case that he filed last year, saying the cuts on the private part of his son were not for circumcision and were made by Mansoor’s minor son Faizu during play.
Swarajya has not seen the court order and cannot independently verify Paapun’s statement as it is not available on the Jabalpur court website.
This what the pamphlet says (translated from Hindi):
“My son was forcibly circumcised by Mansoor Khan and his son Faizu. The Town Inspector of Khamariya police station, Nirupa Pandey, sided with Mansoor and closed the case. I have faced caste-based discrimination from the police. They hurled casteist slurs against me. I tried registering a case against Pandey, Amit Singh and Neelam Singh, besides Mansoor and Mansoor’s family, at the Harijan police station but no action was taken against them. Now the only option left for me is to call for a protest.”
The Police Case Filed Last Year
As reported by Swarajya last year, Paapun gave a complaint to the police based on which a first information report (FIR) was filed by Khamariya police on 22 March, 2022 — the day of the alleged incident. The FIR number is 136/2022.
Swarajya accessed the FIR, and below is the statement by Paapun recorded in it:
‘Paapun and his family live in quarter number 16 of the west land bungalow servant quarters inside the Khamariya Ordnance factory estate. He is a labourer.
On 22 March around 10 am, he left for work near his house while his son, Paras, was still sleeping. His wife was getting ready to leave for work at the bungalow.
When he came home, he found Paras was not there. He began searching for him. He found the child hiding behind the house. The child looked terrified. Despite repeatedly asking, he did not reveal anything. He then asked his father if he could go to the toilet. There, he showed Paapun his private part, which had cuts and was bleeding.
This time when he asked Paras to tell him the truth, the child said that Faizu had made the cuts with a blade.
Paapun immediately took him to the police station where they were asked to go to the government hospital. He went to the hospital for treatment and, on his return, gave a statement to the police.‘
Based on this statement, the police filed a case against Faizu alias Faizal Khan under IPC section 324 (voluntarily causing hurt).
See the statement below:
Faizu, as this correspondent learnt later, is only eight years old.
Khamariya police ignored Mansoor's name, Paapun told SP a week later
A week after this FIR, Paapun gave a complaint letter to Superintendent of Police of Jabalpur on 30 March 2022, complaining of inaction and hiding of facts by Khamariya police. The complaint, also accessed by Swarajya, says this:
‘The family of one Mansoor Khan lives in Paapun’s neighbourhood. On 22 March when he was working near his house, his wife came rushing to him saying their son Paras had gone missing. On looking out, they found him behind the house.
The boy was standing petrified and there was blood dripping from his pants. On removing the pants, they found that the blood was coming not from the legs but from his underwear. Paapun saw that an upper layer of Paras’s penis had been removed and there were cut marks around it.
When asked, Paras said that Faizu and his father Mansoor Khan had done that to him in the bathroom.
Paapun confronted Mansoor and accused him of getting his son circumcised. Mansoor started abusing him and used casteist slurs. He threatened Paapun saying that he had done the ‘khatna’ (circumcision) and Paapun could do whatever he wanted.
Paapun rushed to the police station where policemen asked him to go to the hospital first. On his return, the policemen there registered a case, but named only Faizu. Despite Paapun’s pleas, they did not name Faizu’s father Mansoor. The statement in the FIR does not match the complaint narrated by Paapun and has been manipulated.
Paapun repeatedly told the police that Mansoor and his son had tried to do ‘khatna’ of his child but the police ignored it.
Mansoor threatened Paapun saying he must take back his complaint or he would be driven out of Khamariya.’
See the complaint letter below:
Swarajya’s visit to Paapun’s house
After the incident, the company for which Paapun worked, fired him from the job for involving police.
The couple was also asked to vacate the company premises. The notice for vacation is attached below:
Five days after the notice, the family shifted to a rented place in Bada Patthar area. That is where Swarajya met Paapun and his wife Deepa in July 2022.
Deepa said that the cut on her son’s private part was circular and did not seem like it was a random cut made by a child. She also said that when the son narrated to them the incident, he named Faizu’s father Mansoor, saying it was he who carried out the cut. Swarajya recorded a statement of the boy in front of Deepa, which can be seen here.
Deepa and Pappun told Swarajya that the police were not taking their complaint seriously and deliberately ignoring the role of Mansoor.
Not the only such case
In recent past, several cases of forced circumcision of Hindu children have come to light.
In a case reported from the Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh last year, a Muslim couple illegally adopted an orphaned Hindu boy and got him circumcised.
The minor child was circumcised by Umar and Babli after a middleman Zulfikar helped them with the illegal adoption. It was only after Zulfikar’s neighbour Rajesh Pandey posted a video of the child talking about his circumcision and physical abuse by Umar and Babli, that the Ghaziabad police took action.
The boy is currently at a child care home in Ghaziabad.
Another similar case was from the same city within a month, where a Hindu woman accused her husband of forcibly getting her son from the previous marriage circumcised. The woman told the police that the man posed as a Hindu named Guddu to marry her, but turned out to be a Muslim named Sablu.
In May 2022, a Hindu family filed a case against a maulvi for forcing their minor son to have nikah with a woman after his conversion. The boy, Nikhil, was 17 at the time of the nikah. An FIR (117) was filed at Kakadeo police station in Kanpur on 22 May. Swarajya learnt that the boy was made to undergo the mandatory circumcision ritual before the nikah ceremony.
However, after the complaint, the boy was returned to the custody of his parents and the maulvi was arrested under child justice laws.
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