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India: ’Only girls with bad character go to college’

Report in Indian Express, 12 June 2007

Wednesday 20 June 2007

Mumbai, June 12: In a bizarre case, two Muslim girls have approached
the Bombay High Court to seek protection from their neighbour who does
not want them to pursue higher education on religious grounds.

According to Samina Shaikh (19) and her younger sister Zarina (18),
their neighbour Mohammad Ali Nisar Ansari went to the extent of
allegedly assaulting their parents, brother and Samina last month for
continuing with their studies.

Ansari thought that ’only girls with bad character go to college’ and
did not want the girls to go to college after their matriculation,
their petition said.

He allegedly told their father Yashin Shaikh not to send his daughters
to college but the latter ignored this.

In March, Ansari allegedly assaulted Samina, following which she went
to Nagpada police station where personnel allegedly refused to accept
her complaint as he was a police informer, the petition said.

On May 11, Ansari and two others allegedly assaulted the girls’
father, brother and mother. The three had to be hospitalised. Ansari’s
mother and sister wiped the bloodstains after the attack to destroy
evidence, the petition claimed.

When the petition came up before a Division Bench of Justices Ranjana
Desai and D B Bhosale, the public prosecutor told the court that
Ansari had been arrested after the second incident but was released on
bail.

The girls maintained that police are not serious about ensuring their
safety and want their case to be transferred to another police
station. The court has summoned the senior police inspector concerned
on June 18 and asked the prosecution to produce the case record.

According to Samina Shaikh (19) and her younger sister Zarina (18),
their neighbour Mohammad Ali Nisar Ansari went to the extent of
allegedly assaulting their parents, brother and Samina last month for
continuing with their studies.

Ansari thought that ’only girls with bad character go to college’ and
did not want the girls to go to college after their matriculation,
their petition said.

He allegedly told their father Yashin Shaikh not to send his daughters
to college but the latter ignored this.

SOURCE: Indian Express, 12 June 2007