When a peaceful citizens’ foot march spooks Yogi Adityanath government and the group—which comprises not more than 10 people—is arrested in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur, it is evident that any solidarity to the arrested individuals will not be tolerated by the state police.
On Saturday, at least 12 were detained by the Uttar Pradesh Police allegedly for staging a fast in front of the Ghazipur’s district headquarter. Those detained include university students and local youth.
The collective action, as NewsClick has learnt, was in solidarity with those arrested earlier by UP police on the ninth day of the foot march which started from Chauri Chaura near Gorakhpur. The individuals, detained on Saturday, were allegedly also beaten up by the police.
“The police didn’t allow the individuals to stage a peaceful fast outside the district headquarter. The individuals have been detained in the afternoon,” Dhananjay, a Banaras Hindu University (BHU) student, told NewsClick over the phone.
No information as to when they will be released is being provided yet, he added.
In the wake of the protests erupting across the country against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), police brutality, which includes violence against the protesters and custodial torture against those detained, has been reported in the state of Uttar Pradesh. As many as 23 have been reportedly killed in the state during the protests.
A group of students and activists, including a woman journalist, started a 60-day Nagrik Satyagraha Padayatra against the Uttar Pradesh Police’s brutalities in dealing with anti-CAA-NRC protests. They were accused of “instigating and misleading” people against CAA and NRC, reported The Telegraph.
Earlier, in a letter dated February 13, to the District Magistrate, the detained satyagrahis had said that they were starting a fast from 5 pm on Thursday against their arrest.
In a statement released on the same day, the detainees condemned their arrest and said the “police have tried to shrink and divert objective of our yatra”.
“In the FIR, they said that our yatra is against CAA and NRC,” however, “our yatra is against every form of violence and hate which exists in society and to spread the ideas of Gandhi.”
If this was not enough, a local Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) issued notices for bail bonds of Rs. 2.5 lakh each, along with two Gazetted persons per individual as guarantors.
“It is sad to note that a yatra which aims to spread the Gandhian values was not being allowed by a government which does its politics in Gandhi’s name,” Dhananjay said, who is also a representative of the BHU Joint Action Committee which is seeking release of those who are arrested.