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Is the UP administration using harsher sections of the law against Muslims, dissenters and activists?

UP slapped NSA charges on two accused in Kamlesh Tiwari’s murder, and also booked four teenagers under sedition for allegedly burning the tricolour for a TikTok video

Sabrangindia 23 Jun 2020

NSAImage Courtesy: hindustantimes.com

While during the coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court has urged for the decongestion of jails, the Uttar Pradesh police seems to be disregarding the same as it tries to book people under non-bailable offences.

In Lucknow, District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash invoked the National Security Act (NSA) against two accused in the murder case of Hindu outfit leader Kamlesh Tiwari, ANI UP reported.

The move came after they moved the court for bail, The Indian Express (IE) said. Kamlesh Tiwari, founder of the Hindu Samaj Party, a right-wing supremacist group, was killed at his home in Lucknow on October 18, 2019 and the two accused, apart from 11 others arrested in the matter are lodged in the Lucknow jail.

While IE reported that Rashid Pathan and Syed Asim Ali had been booked under the NSA, another report by the Free Press Journal cited that the NSA was slapped on Yusuf Khan and Syed Asim Ali.

Tiwari had shot to fame in 2015 while he was a member of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha when he called Prophet Muhammed “the first ******* (homosexual slur) of the World”. The comment had enraged the Muslim community all over the country and Tiwari was put in jail under under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between religious groups) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings).

The police claimed that Rashid was accused of being part of the murder conspiracy while Syed had allegedly provided help to two killers, Ashfaq Hussain Zakir Hussain Shaikh and Farid alias Moinuddin Khurshid Pathan, to flee to Nepal. They were arrested four days after the incident by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). At the time of the incident, DGP UP OP Singh had said that there was no terror angle in the matter.

In another incident, the UP police charged four boys on charges of sedition for allegedly burning the tricolour while recording a video on the popular app, TikTok, Hindustan Times reported. While one of the accused, who is a minor, has been arrested, the police are on the lookout of others who have been booked as anonymous in the FIR.

Anil Kumar Yadav, Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Bazarkhala area in Lucknow told HT, “A local resident, one Ravi Kant, was cycling near Tikait Rai Talab when he saw the boys burning the tricolour. Ravi Kant along with others who were playing near the park asked the boys to stop and called the police.”

Apart from sedition, the police have also booked them under section 153 (promoting enmity between different groups), 504 (intentional insult) 505 (statement conducing to public mischief), 352 (punishment for assault), 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC.

The police however told HT that the charges had been applied based on the complaint by Ravi Kant and they could be reduced or increased as per the findings of the investigation.

The Central and State governments have been slapping serious charges to ensure continuous incarceration of people. The NSA empowers a government to detain a person for 12 months if the authorities see him/her as a threat to national security. Most recently during the Covid-19 pandemic, the UP government slammed NSA charges on members of the Tablighi Jamaat for alleged misbehavior, on those who attacked health workers and on many of those who took part in anti-Citizenship Act protests in the state. 

Sadaf Jafar, an activist who was arrested and physically assaulted in jail for participating in the anti-CAA protests also saw herself being the target of the UP government after they booked her under unlawful assembly and rioting. She also mentioned that the police were “looking to impose” the NSA on 18 people in connection with the protests.

In Prayagraj, a man was booked under sedition for making objectionable remarks against CM Yogi Adityanath.

The actions of the UP government seem vindictive and prove their extremely harsh stance on those who oppose who are seen as anti-administration and not in line with the right-wing sentiment. For activists and human rights defenders, the harsh charges of NSA, sedition and the Unlawful Prevention Activities Act (UAPA) seem to have been turned into extreme devices of retribution to make sure that voices of dissent remain stifled out of fear.

Related:

Sadaf Jafar speaks to Sabrang India about her nightmarish experience in jail
Safoora Zargar denied bail under UAPA, on grounds for blocking a road
Madhya Pradesh invokes NSA against 4 who pelted stones on frontline workers amid Covid-19
NAPM releases report on state repression of protestors in UP
Five arrested for murder of Hindutva leader, Kamlesh Tiwari

Is the UP administration using harsher sections of the law against Muslims, dissenters and activists?

UP slapped NSA charges on two accused in Kamlesh Tiwari’s murder, and also booked four teenagers under sedition for allegedly burning the tricolour for a TikTok video

NSAImage Courtesy: hindustantimes.com

While during the coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court has urged for the decongestion of jails, the Uttar Pradesh police seems to be disregarding the same as it tries to book people under non-bailable offences.

In Lucknow, District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash invoked the National Security Act (NSA) against two accused in the murder case of Hindu outfit leader Kamlesh Tiwari, ANI UP reported.

The move came after they moved the court for bail, The Indian Express (IE) said. Kamlesh Tiwari, founder of the Hindu Samaj Party, a right-wing supremacist group, was killed at his home in Lucknow on October 18, 2019 and the two accused, apart from 11 others arrested in the matter are lodged in the Lucknow jail.

While IE reported that Rashid Pathan and Syed Asim Ali had been booked under the NSA, another report by the Free Press Journal cited that the NSA was slapped on Yusuf Khan and Syed Asim Ali.

Tiwari had shot to fame in 2015 while he was a member of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha when he called Prophet Muhammed “the first ******* (homosexual slur) of the World”. The comment had enraged the Muslim community all over the country and Tiwari was put in jail under under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between religious groups) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings).

The police claimed that Rashid was accused of being part of the murder conspiracy while Syed had allegedly provided help to two killers, Ashfaq Hussain Zakir Hussain Shaikh and Farid alias Moinuddin Khurshid Pathan, to flee to Nepal. They were arrested four days after the incident by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). At the time of the incident, DGP UP OP Singh had said that there was no terror angle in the matter.

In another incident, the UP police charged four boys on charges of sedition for allegedly burning the tricolour while recording a video on the popular app, TikTok, Hindustan Times reported. While one of the accused, who is a minor, has been arrested, the police are on the lookout of others who have been booked as anonymous in the FIR.

Anil Kumar Yadav, Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Bazarkhala area in Lucknow told HT, “A local resident, one Ravi Kant, was cycling near Tikait Rai Talab when he saw the boys burning the tricolour. Ravi Kant along with others who were playing near the park asked the boys to stop and called the police.”

Apart from sedition, the police have also booked them under section 153 (promoting enmity between different groups), 504 (intentional insult) 505 (statement conducing to public mischief), 352 (punishment for assault), 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC.

The police however told HT that the charges had been applied based on the complaint by Ravi Kant and they could be reduced or increased as per the findings of the investigation.

The Central and State governments have been slapping serious charges to ensure continuous incarceration of people. The NSA empowers a government to detain a person for 12 months if the authorities see him/her as a threat to national security. Most recently during the Covid-19 pandemic, the UP government slammed NSA charges on members of the Tablighi Jamaat for alleged misbehavior, on those who attacked health workers and on many of those who took part in anti-Citizenship Act protests in the state. 

Sadaf Jafar, an activist who was arrested and physically assaulted in jail for participating in the anti-CAA protests also saw herself being the target of the UP government after they booked her under unlawful assembly and rioting. She also mentioned that the police were “looking to impose” the NSA on 18 people in connection with the protests.

In Prayagraj, a man was booked under sedition for making objectionable remarks against CM Yogi Adityanath.

The actions of the UP government seem vindictive and prove their extremely harsh stance on those who oppose who are seen as anti-administration and not in line with the right-wing sentiment. For activists and human rights defenders, the harsh charges of NSA, sedition and the Unlawful Prevention Activities Act (UAPA) seem to have been turned into extreme devices of retribution to make sure that voices of dissent remain stifled out of fear.

Related:

Sadaf Jafar speaks to Sabrang India about her nightmarish experience in jail
Safoora Zargar denied bail under UAPA, on grounds for blocking a road
Madhya Pradesh invokes NSA against 4 who pelted stones on frontline workers amid Covid-19
NAPM releases report on state repression of protestors in UP
Five arrested for murder of Hindutva leader, Kamlesh Tiwari

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