Taking cognisance of the reports submitted by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra over police atrocities during anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) protests in the state, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary and the director general of police (DGP).
The commission has given six weeks’ time to the Yogi Adityanath-led state government to reply to its notice.
On January 27, the Congress delegation accompanied by senior leader Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra moved the National Human Rights Commission demanding action against alleged police atrocities on the protesters in the state, claiming that victims have been made accused in case-related first information reports (FIRs) and no police officer has been named.
The delegation had met the NHRC chairperson and other senior officials and made a detailed 31-page representation which included videos and photographs as “evidence” of alleged atrocities and human rights violations in the state.
After the meeting, Rahul Gandhi alleged that the UP government has "gone to war against its own people" and urged the NHRC to act decisively to protect the "constitutional rights of our citizens".
Priyanka Gandhi had visited many victims and their families in Western UP, which was the worst hit by the violence which broke out between December 19 and 20 last year.
She visited Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut and Lucknow to meet those at the receiving end of the violence and also joined protesters on a dharna at India Gate to express solidarity with them. The party also held a symbolic protest at Rajghat.
At least 23 people were killed in alleged police firing in Bijnor, Meerut, Kanpur, Firozabad and other places during the protests. Not only that, incidents of police brutality against anti-CAA-NRC protesters continue to be reported from Uttar Pradesh. More than 1,200 people, mostly Muslims, have been arrested. Many were detained illegally. Several, including minors, have also reported custodial torture.
Fresh FIR Against Lucknow Protesters and Rihai Manch President
On Monday, the Lucknow police filed a fresh FIR against 21 named protesters and hundreds of unknown, including women, for allegedly violating CrPC Section 144, blocking traffic and manhandling police personnel at the ongoing sit-in protest against the CAA and NRC at Clock Tower known as Ghanta Ghar.
Among the other 21 named accused, at least nine are women. The booked people include Congress spokesperson Sadaf Zafar, activist PC Kureel, and members of human rights group Rihai Manch, Ghanta Ghar Coordination Committee and gender rights group Pinjra Tod. Jafar had earlier been jailed for being part of another anti-CAA-NRC protest.
Rihai Manch’s president, Mohammad Shoaib, told NewsClick, “The Uttar Pradesh government has come under a dictatorship, which is why the police administration, instead of protecting the public, filed fake cases against the people. This is the same government which talks about removal of cases against Chinmayanand, who is accused of physical abuse of a law student but the women of this country protesting against unconstitutional Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC in a democratic way are intimidated with fake cases.”