Representational Image. Image Courtesy: The Print
Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court on Monday asked the state government to submit a report on allegations of police atrocities against anti-CAA protesters by February 17, the next date of hearing.
A two-judge Bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Verma passed the order hearing a number of public interest litigations.
The court asked the state government to mention how many people died during anti-CAA protests and complaints registered against police.
The court also asked whether truthfulness of media reports in this regard has been examined or not.
Over 20 people were allegedly killed in police firing during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in Uttar Pradesh on December 20.
Rights activists have alleged that there was a "reign of terror" prevailing in Uttar Pradesh to crack down on protests against the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), demanding a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team to probe to ascertain the truth about police action and killings in the state.
The Uttar Pradesh police and the administration have denied any excess or wrongdoing.
Cong Moves NHRC Over UP Police 'Atrocities'
In Delhi, the Congress on Monday moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) demanding action against alleged police atrocities on anti-CAA protesters in Uttar Pradesh, claiming that victims have been made accused in case-related FIRs and no police officer has been named.
The delegation, led by senior Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, met top NHRC 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 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 said the Congress leaders led By Rahul Gandhi filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission and demanded an impartial inquiry into the barbaric and unconstitutional acts by the UP Police against people.
"BHU students were threatened with destruction of their careers, excesses and repression targeting common people, killings of innocents -- justice is required in all these cases through an impartial investigation," she said in a tweet in Hindi.
During the meeting with NHRC officials, Rahul Gandhi alleged that there is a systematic process being put in place across the country and "police mitras" were being inducted to brutalise the people.
What was taking place is against the idea of India and the Constitution of the country, he said.
"We cannot become a country where the leadership brutalises its own people. You (NHRC) are the appropriate institution to safeguard human rights. NHRC is defending the idea of India and everything that has been promised by our Constitution," Gandhi was quoted as saying by sources.
If NHRC goes into details of what is submitted, it will be convinced that something terribly wrong has happened in Uttar Pradesh, he said during the meeting.
The party also submitted a memorandum to the NHRC in which it has alleged that the BJP government in the state "treats its own citizens like criminals".
"Given the role of a reckless state government that views the law and the Constitution as mere inconveniences, treats its own citizens like criminals and wears its hostility towards ordinary citizens as a badge of pride, the duty of institutions such as the NHRC to act as checks and balances and to embody and protect the values enshrined in the Constitution of India becomes paramount," the Congress memorandum said.
It further said the NHRC has a "glorious history" of addressing injustices when all other institutions have fallen short. "We hope and expect that this instance will not be an exception to that legacy."
The leaders who met the NHRC officials included Mohsina Kidwai, Salman Khurshid, P L Punia, Jitin Prasada, Rajiv Shukla and UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu.