New Delhi: A week after alleged violence during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in Uttar Pradesh on December 20, the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government has sent property confiscation notices to 498 people across the state for “causing damage to public property”. Incidentally, UP has recorded the highest number of deaths during the alleged violence, with many of the victims’ families alleging that the deaths were due to police bullets.
According to a report, some of the prominent persons who have been sent the UP government notice for property confiscation are retired IPS officer S R Darapuri, Congress leader Sadaf Jafar, president of Rihai Manch, Mohammad Shoaib, activist Deepak Kabir, teachers Robin Verma and Pawan Rao Ambedkar. All these people are at present lodged in jail.
Darapuri, who is in his seventies, is a known Ambedkarite activist, Shoaib is a lawyer known for fighting pro bono cases for poor and marginalised people, Verma is a management teacher at Shia PG College and Pawan Rao Ambedkar is a faculty member at a college in Rae Bareli.
As per the circular, the state government has identified these people as “anti-socials” who caused damage to public and private property while taking part in anti-CAA protests in different parts of the state.
According to official sources, the list includes at least 82 people from Lucknow, 148 from Meerut, 26 from Sambhal, 79 from Rampur, 13 from Firozabad, 50 from Kanpur, 73 from Muzaffarnagar, eight from Mau and 19 from Bulandshahr.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Lucknow district authorities have issued notices to confiscate the property of 48 people for their alleged involvement in violence during the CAA protest in Lucknow. However, the families termed the administration’s action as “frivolous”, as those arrested were innocent and were not involved in any sort vandalism. In addition, 148 people have been sent notices, seeking their reply on alleged involvement in violence.
The 48 people who have been sent attachment notices, would be asked to pay for public and private property loss during the protest in Lucknow.
The notices come in the backdrop of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath calling for "revenge" over the anti-CAA protests. He also stated that protesters who vandalised public property during the demonstrations against CAA will have to pay for the damages.
Meanwhile, the grandmother of one Kaleem, who has been served a notice to confiscate his property which is not even in his name, claimed that the police had arrested her grandson from outside her home in Khadra locality in Lucknow despite the fact that he had not been not living with them in the past few days.
"Kaleem was not with us for a few days. I am unwell and Kaleem came to see me before the protest took place. He was not involved in any sort of violence. Ever since he was arrested, the police is knocking my door every day and harassing me mentally. Now they have served a notice to confiscate our property, which is not even in the name of Kaleem. The property is in the name of Kaleem's uncle," Kaleem's grandmother told NewsClick.
Another person who has been served a notice is Imtiyaz of Khajoor Wali Gali. Imtiyaz, a sole breadwinner, was also arrested for allegedly vandalising public property. However, his family denied the police’s allegation and is upset with him being projected as a "rioter". Now they have sent a notice to confiscate their property. Since Imtiyaz is in jail, his sister received the notice by Lucknow administration to confiscate the property.
"Kaleem is a cobbler and has no assets except a tiny room where three members reside. We do not have enough money to arrange a meal for everyone, how can we pay for ‘damages’? The police wants to confiscate our small house now," a teary-eyed Imtiyaz's sister told NewsClick.
Meanwhile, several families who have been served notices for property confiscation are living in fear and shock.
NewsClick approached Rajiv Yadav, member of Rihai Manch, for his reaction on the notice issued to Shoaib. “We have received the notice to attach the property of Shoaib. We will decide the next course of action soon consulting after our legal team," he said.
NewsClick also approached the family members of Sadaf Jafar and Deepak Kabir, who said they hadn't received any such notice as of now but heard of these through the media.
(With inputs from Asad Rizvi, Lucknow)