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LG grants Delhi Police emergency detention powers under NSA

Move comes in light of burgeoning anti-CAA protests in Delhi, fears of misuse of provisions against peaceful protesters

18 Jan 2020

Delhi Police

As per a Home Department notification dated January 10, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi has granted the police commissioner emergency powers to detain people. The powers are granted under sub section 3 of section 3, read with clause e of section 2 of the National Security Act, 1980. The order will be valid from January 19 to April 18, 2020.

According to section 3 (3) of the NSA, “If, having regard to the circumstances prevailing or likely to prevail in any area within the local limits of the jurisdiction of a District Magistrate or a Commissioner of Police, the State Government is satisfied that it is necessary so to do, it may, by order in writing, direct, that during such period as may be specified in the order, such District Magistrate or Commissioner of Police may also, if satisfied as provided in sub-section (2), exercise the powers conferred by the said sub-section: Provided that the period specified in an order made by the State Government under this sub-section shall not, in the first instance, exceed three months, but the State Government may, if satisfied as aforesaid that it is necessary so to do, amend such order to extend such period from time to time by any period not exceeding three months at any one time.”

Meanwhile clause e of section 2 clarifies, “"State Government", in relation to a Union territory, means the administrator thereof.”

The notification may be viewed here:

LG

In wake of protests as well as excesses inflicted upon university students in the national capital, this notification appears to be rather ominous. Now, it would be possible for the police to say, detain a protester for up to three months, if they choose to do so. But, the police on their part insist that this is a routine order.

LG grants Delhi Police emergency detention powers under NSA

Move comes in light of burgeoning anti-CAA protests in Delhi, fears of misuse of provisions against peaceful protesters

Delhi Police

As per a Home Department notification dated January 10, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi has granted the police commissioner emergency powers to detain people. The powers are granted under sub section 3 of section 3, read with clause e of section 2 of the National Security Act, 1980. The order will be valid from January 19 to April 18, 2020.

According to section 3 (3) of the NSA, “If, having regard to the circumstances prevailing or likely to prevail in any area within the local limits of the jurisdiction of a District Magistrate or a Commissioner of Police, the State Government is satisfied that it is necessary so to do, it may, by order in writing, direct, that during such period as may be specified in the order, such District Magistrate or Commissioner of Police may also, if satisfied as provided in sub-section (2), exercise the powers conferred by the said sub-section: Provided that the period specified in an order made by the State Government under this sub-section shall not, in the first instance, exceed three months, but the State Government may, if satisfied as aforesaid that it is necessary so to do, amend such order to extend such period from time to time by any period not exceeding three months at any one time.”

Meanwhile clause e of section 2 clarifies, “"State Government", in relation to a Union territory, means the administrator thereof.”

The notification may be viewed here:

LG

In wake of protests as well as excesses inflicted upon university students in the national capital, this notification appears to be rather ominous. Now, it would be possible for the police to say, detain a protester for up to three months, if they choose to do so. But, the police on their part insist that this is a routine order.

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Hitler, Mussolini were products of democracy: BJP’s Ram Madhav

At the Raisina Dialogue he implied that the Opposition was involved in violence as it had lost in the democratic process

18 Jan 2020

Ram Madhav

Participating in a panel discussion in the Raisina Dialogue, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav claimed that German dictator Adolf Hitler and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini were the “products of democracy”

Taking a dig at the Opposition parties over their agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), he said that those who lost in the “democratic process” converted the “streets into the democratic platform” and engaged in violence.

Without naming anyone and taking a jibe at the protesters he said, “When someone loses in the democratic process and makes roads into the democratic platform, involves in violence and say the government is not listening, that is not the democratic spirit.”

Saying that the CAA was passed in the “most democratic manner”, he added, “The government is duty-bound to respond to criticism without violence. Some are getting depressed and claiming that Indian democracy is going to the dogs, that you have to keep aside. In India, governments are changed very easily. Nobody is going to sustain in a democracy for a long time,” further saying, “Or else you give democracy to a given country, take it from me, Osama Bin Laden posthumously can become the President. You need to nurture a value system in that society.”

He also said that the new CAA rules were “non-discriminatory” and allowed outsiders to become citizens after migrating from different years of stay here. On being asked by a member of the audience whether India was moving towards an “undemocratic democracy”, he said that India has a vibrant Constitution and “we are all wedded to it.”

Madhav further said, “Where is democracy in India actually progressing? The very fact that this question is being raised proves that Indian democracy remains vibrant, it has its own checks and balances.” It was then that he spoke of Hitler and Mussolini saying, “From then to today, there are liberal democracies in the world. Democracies mature over time.”

Speaking about India has always promoted democratic values in the region, Madhav said that democracy should not be used as a “political stick or political weapon” against any other country.

However, this isn’t the first time Hitler and Mussolini have become part of the political party slugfest. In January last year, Rahul Gandhi had addressed PM Modi as “Fuhrer” attacking him over rising levels of unemployment; while the BJP retorted saying that the Gandhi scion had “inherited Mussolini’s short-sightedness” for he had a myopic understanding of issues.

Even American actor John Cusack in a tweet mentioned the BJP’s ties to fascism after Cass Sunstein, the former administrator of the White House Information and Regulatory affairs congratulated BJP for its work in India, asking Sunstein admired – demonetization, dehumanization or violence and terror.

 

 

Also, ever since the CAA has come into force, it is being compared to Hitler’s Nuremberg Race Laws, an Indian version of fascism, set out to create a hierarchical society and the alleged formation of a “Hindu Rashtra” to single out the minorities and the marginalized.


Related:

Modi’s India & Hitler’s Third Reich: a look at the Nuremberg laws
Amit Shah’s defence of CAB shames even Goebbels!
A Legislative Bill for Faith-based Citizenship: How India Has Reached This Point of Disaster?

Hitler, Mussolini were products of democracy: BJP’s Ram Madhav

At the Raisina Dialogue he implied that the Opposition was involved in violence as it had lost in the democratic process

Ram Madhav

Participating in a panel discussion in the Raisina Dialogue, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav claimed that German dictator Adolf Hitler and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini were the “products of democracy”

Taking a dig at the Opposition parties over their agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), he said that those who lost in the “democratic process” converted the “streets into the democratic platform” and engaged in violence.

Without naming anyone and taking a jibe at the protesters he said, “When someone loses in the democratic process and makes roads into the democratic platform, involves in violence and say the government is not listening, that is not the democratic spirit.”

Saying that the CAA was passed in the “most democratic manner”, he added, “The government is duty-bound to respond to criticism without violence. Some are getting depressed and claiming that Indian democracy is going to the dogs, that you have to keep aside. In India, governments are changed very easily. Nobody is going to sustain in a democracy for a long time,” further saying, “Or else you give democracy to a given country, take it from me, Osama Bin Laden posthumously can become the President. You need to nurture a value system in that society.”

He also said that the new CAA rules were “non-discriminatory” and allowed outsiders to become citizens after migrating from different years of stay here. On being asked by a member of the audience whether India was moving towards an “undemocratic democracy”, he said that India has a vibrant Constitution and “we are all wedded to it.”

Madhav further said, “Where is democracy in India actually progressing? The very fact that this question is being raised proves that Indian democracy remains vibrant, it has its own checks and balances.” It was then that he spoke of Hitler and Mussolini saying, “From then to today, there are liberal democracies in the world. Democracies mature over time.”

Speaking about India has always promoted democratic values in the region, Madhav said that democracy should not be used as a “political stick or political weapon” against any other country.

However, this isn’t the first time Hitler and Mussolini have become part of the political party slugfest. In January last year, Rahul Gandhi had addressed PM Modi as “Fuhrer” attacking him over rising levels of unemployment; while the BJP retorted saying that the Gandhi scion had “inherited Mussolini’s short-sightedness” for he had a myopic understanding of issues.

Even American actor John Cusack in a tweet mentioned the BJP’s ties to fascism after Cass Sunstein, the former administrator of the White House Information and Regulatory affairs congratulated BJP for its work in India, asking Sunstein admired – demonetization, dehumanization or violence and terror.

 

 

Also, ever since the CAA has come into force, it is being compared to Hitler’s Nuremberg Race Laws, an Indian version of fascism, set out to create a hierarchical society and the alleged formation of a “Hindu Rashtra” to single out the minorities and the marginalized.


Related:

Modi’s India & Hitler’s Third Reich: a look at the Nuremberg laws
Amit Shah’s defence of CAB shames even Goebbels!
A Legislative Bill for Faith-based Citizenship: How India Has Reached This Point of Disaster?

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Turmoil in the North East: A Bru Story

Part-2 of a series that explores the diverse and complex socio-political dynamics in the Northeast.

18 Jan 2020

Bru Community

After 22 years of being ousted from their homes and being forced to live in refugee camps, the Bru community has finally found a permanent home in Tripura as per a new agreement signed in New Delhi on Thursday. The Bru tribe had been displaced from their traditional home in Mizoram in wake of an ethnic conflict in 1997. Since then 32,000 Bru people have been living as refugees in Tripura and even parts of Assam.

Several attempts have been made to repatriate them, but most have resulted in failure. The most recent attempt was made last year and ended in tragedy when after the deadline for repatriation talks ended, the government stopped the flow of food and other supplies to six refugee camps forcing the Brus to evict or starve!

Six peopledied before Kirit Pradyot Deb Barman, scion of the erstwhile Manikya royal family of Tripura, intervened demanding Brus be granted the right to live and settle in Tripura.  

Now, the center has finally reached a solution to the long-standing crisis. On Thursday, a quadripartite agreement was signed in the presence of Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, Mizoram Chief Minister Pu Zoramthanga and leaders of Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF), the largest forum of Bru migrants. A Rs 600 crore package was announced for the resettlement of Brus. The terms of the previous resettlement agreement in Mizoram have now been tweaked for the purpose of resettlement in Tripura as follows:

· Rs 1.5 lakh housing assistance to the migrants into three instalments

· Rs 4 lakh one-time cash assistance for sustenance to be handed over after 3 years

· Rs 5,000 monthly cash assistance

· Free ration for two years to migrants who wish to be permanently settled in Tripura

Pradyot Deb Barman, who is also the Chairman of The Indigenous progressive regional alliance - T.I.P.R.A has welcomed the new agreement tweeting, “It’s a start and a wonderful one at that! Our Bru people have been given the rehabilitation inside Tripura! United we stand.”

"According to the agreement, those willing to go back to Mizoram can go and the rest can stay in Tripura. They have to stay in either of the states. He said a large quantum of land would be required to rehabilitate these 34,000 people and it would take at least six months," Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told NDTV.

 

Brief history of Brus

Brus who are also called Reangs are an agrarian tribe practicing Jhum cultivation. In the late 90s there emerged a movement to create an autonomous Bru territory carved from western Mizoram, parts of Triura and even Bangladesh. In September 1997 the movement gained momentum and on October 21, 1997, a forest guard was killed in the Dampa Tiger Reserve allegedly by members of the Bru National Liberation Front. This led to clashed with the Mizos, and eventually 37,000 Brus were forced to flee Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts of Mizoram. 

While 5,000 people returned over 9 phases of repatriation since then, but around 32,000 continued to live in six refugee camps in Tripura. In these refugee camps they were given 600 grams of rice for each adult and 300 grams for each minor every day, along with a daily allowance of Rs 5 and Rs 2.5 respectively. They were forced to live in makeshift bamboo huts without proper power or water supply.

When the last repatriation agreement was launched in 2018 there were fears of persecution at the hands of Mizos upon their return leading most Brus to reject the deal. But when the deadline for the repatriation talks ended on November 30, 2019, relief supplies to the refugee camps were stopped. Six people including four infants died allegedly due to starvation. This led to Brus blockading the streets categorically stating that they will not entertain any talks of repatraition while they were being forced to starve! 

That’s when Pradyot Deb Barman made an appeal that Brus be permitted to stay in Tripura. Various Bru refugee groups came together to lobby for the best solution for the decades old crisis and now it appears that the tribe can finally live in peace.

Turmoil in the North East: A Bru Story

Part-2 of a series that explores the diverse and complex socio-political dynamics in the Northeast.

Bru Community

After 22 years of being ousted from their homes and being forced to live in refugee camps, the Bru community has finally found a permanent home in Tripura as per a new agreement signed in New Delhi on Thursday. The Bru tribe had been displaced from their traditional home in Mizoram in wake of an ethnic conflict in 1997. Since then 32,000 Bru people have been living as refugees in Tripura and even parts of Assam.

Several attempts have been made to repatriate them, but most have resulted in failure. The most recent attempt was made last year and ended in tragedy when after the deadline for repatriation talks ended, the government stopped the flow of food and other supplies to six refugee camps forcing the Brus to evict or starve!

Six peopledied before Kirit Pradyot Deb Barman, scion of the erstwhile Manikya royal family of Tripura, intervened demanding Brus be granted the right to live and settle in Tripura.  

Now, the center has finally reached a solution to the long-standing crisis. On Thursday, a quadripartite agreement was signed in the presence of Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, Mizoram Chief Minister Pu Zoramthanga and leaders of Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF), the largest forum of Bru migrants. A Rs 600 crore package was announced for the resettlement of Brus. The terms of the previous resettlement agreement in Mizoram have now been tweaked for the purpose of resettlement in Tripura as follows:

· Rs 1.5 lakh housing assistance to the migrants into three instalments

· Rs 4 lakh one-time cash assistance for sustenance to be handed over after 3 years

· Rs 5,000 monthly cash assistance

· Free ration for two years to migrants who wish to be permanently settled in Tripura

Pradyot Deb Barman, who is also the Chairman of The Indigenous progressive regional alliance - T.I.P.R.A has welcomed the new agreement tweeting, “It’s a start and a wonderful one at that! Our Bru people have been given the rehabilitation inside Tripura! United we stand.”

"According to the agreement, those willing to go back to Mizoram can go and the rest can stay in Tripura. They have to stay in either of the states. He said a large quantum of land would be required to rehabilitate these 34,000 people and it would take at least six months," Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told NDTV.

 

Brief history of Brus

Brus who are also called Reangs are an agrarian tribe practicing Jhum cultivation. In the late 90s there emerged a movement to create an autonomous Bru territory carved from western Mizoram, parts of Triura and even Bangladesh. In September 1997 the movement gained momentum and on October 21, 1997, a forest guard was killed in the Dampa Tiger Reserve allegedly by members of the Bru National Liberation Front. This led to clashed with the Mizos, and eventually 37,000 Brus were forced to flee Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts of Mizoram. 

While 5,000 people returned over 9 phases of repatriation since then, but around 32,000 continued to live in six refugee camps in Tripura. In these refugee camps they were given 600 grams of rice for each adult and 300 grams for each minor every day, along with a daily allowance of Rs 5 and Rs 2.5 respectively. They were forced to live in makeshift bamboo huts without proper power or water supply.

When the last repatriation agreement was launched in 2018 there were fears of persecution at the hands of Mizos upon their return leading most Brus to reject the deal. But when the deadline for the repatriation talks ended on November 30, 2019, relief supplies to the refugee camps were stopped. Six people including four infants died allegedly due to starvation. This led to Brus blockading the streets categorically stating that they will not entertain any talks of repatraition while they were being forced to starve! 

That’s when Pradyot Deb Barman made an appeal that Brus be permitted to stay in Tripura. Various Bru refugee groups came together to lobby for the best solution for the decades old crisis and now it appears that the tribe can finally live in peace.

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Oppn ruled states object to question of ‘date and birthplace of parents’ in NPR

MHA officials say respondents can refuse to share information pertaining to the same

18 Jan 2020

census
Image: Praveen Khanna / Indian Express


Several Opposition ruled states flagged the contentious question about Question No. 13 (II) related to the “date and place of birth of parents” in the National Population Register (NPR) during the workshop convened by the Union Home Ministry to discuss its modalities.

All states and Union Territories, except for West Bengal, participated in the first national workshop regarding the NPR that is to be carried out between 1st April and 30th September. The workshop was held at the Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi.

The workshop was held in two parts – one to familiarize state representatives with the house-listing and NPR process, and the second, to discuss issues with regards to enumeration, infrastructure, and budget, level of training and other doubts.

It was inaugurated by Minister of State (Home) Nityanand Rai who officials say, “laid emphasis on the need of conducting Census 2021 and the role of the states in doing the same.”

An official of the MHA said, “Odisha first raised this point (about the details of the date and birthplace of parents) at the meeting. Some other states, ruled by Opposition parties too had reservations on this question. However, a cogent explanation was given and they appeared to be satisfied.”

Rajasthan Chief Secretary told reporters after the workshop, “States complained that it is impractical to collect information on the date and place of birth of parents. There are many people in the country who don’t even know what their birthplace was. I don’t know what the purpose of such questions is and we have told the meeting to remove such a question.”

The Indian Express reported that a senior official from an opposition-ruled state said the meeting was fruitful as a familiarization exercise for the challenges that would be faced during the NPR process and House-listing Census, but a call on either had not yet been taken in his state. “Whether to conduct NPR is a political call. If the leadership decides non-cooperation, it will happen through the public. We will not do it officially,” the official said.

Officials said that the state representatives were apprised that the same question was also asked in the 2010 and 2015 NPR exercises, though it wasn’t a separate question then. “When some still expressed reservations, we told them that information is voluntary and if the respondent does not want to give such information, he/she can refuse to give it,” the official said.

In the NPR of 2010 and 2015, the government had asked for the details of the Aadhaar Card and mobile number, however, this time around, it is also seeking information pertaining to driving license, voter ID, mother tongue, passport details, etc.

The first NPR in 2010 was also carried out along with the house-listing phase of the census, but the concerns that have arisen this time are in the backdrop of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The questions about the date and birthplace of parents in the NPR are being seen with anxiety because the NPR is now seen as the government’s first step towards the dangerous National Register of Citizens (NRC). Especially now, with all the data that the government is asking for, it is possible that the administration will be able to create a profile for the individual. Not only is this a threat to the privacy of the data that citizens so trustingly hand over to the government, but it poses an even bigger risk of the same being misused.

Related:

NPR 2020: What does it want to know?
NPR-NRC – FAQs
Advocate Mihir Desai’s point by point rebuttal of the GOI’s FAQ on CAA/ NPR-NRC
How dangerous is the CAA + NRC?
Census Data debunks claim of large-scale Bangladeshi immigration in Assam

Oppn ruled states object to question of ‘date and birthplace of parents’ in NPR

MHA officials say respondents can refuse to share information pertaining to the same

census
Image: Praveen Khanna / Indian Express


Several Opposition ruled states flagged the contentious question about Question No. 13 (II) related to the “date and place of birth of parents” in the National Population Register (NPR) during the workshop convened by the Union Home Ministry to discuss its modalities.

All states and Union Territories, except for West Bengal, participated in the first national workshop regarding the NPR that is to be carried out between 1st April and 30th September. The workshop was held at the Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi.

The workshop was held in two parts – one to familiarize state representatives with the house-listing and NPR process, and the second, to discuss issues with regards to enumeration, infrastructure, and budget, level of training and other doubts.

It was inaugurated by Minister of State (Home) Nityanand Rai who officials say, “laid emphasis on the need of conducting Census 2021 and the role of the states in doing the same.”

An official of the MHA said, “Odisha first raised this point (about the details of the date and birthplace of parents) at the meeting. Some other states, ruled by Opposition parties too had reservations on this question. However, a cogent explanation was given and they appeared to be satisfied.”

Rajasthan Chief Secretary told reporters after the workshop, “States complained that it is impractical to collect information on the date and place of birth of parents. There are many people in the country who don’t even know what their birthplace was. I don’t know what the purpose of such questions is and we have told the meeting to remove such a question.”

The Indian Express reported that a senior official from an opposition-ruled state said the meeting was fruitful as a familiarization exercise for the challenges that would be faced during the NPR process and House-listing Census, but a call on either had not yet been taken in his state. “Whether to conduct NPR is a political call. If the leadership decides non-cooperation, it will happen through the public. We will not do it officially,” the official said.

Officials said that the state representatives were apprised that the same question was also asked in the 2010 and 2015 NPR exercises, though it wasn’t a separate question then. “When some still expressed reservations, we told them that information is voluntary and if the respondent does not want to give such information, he/she can refuse to give it,” the official said.

In the NPR of 2010 and 2015, the government had asked for the details of the Aadhaar Card and mobile number, however, this time around, it is also seeking information pertaining to driving license, voter ID, mother tongue, passport details, etc.

The first NPR in 2010 was also carried out along with the house-listing phase of the census, but the concerns that have arisen this time are in the backdrop of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The questions about the date and birthplace of parents in the NPR are being seen with anxiety because the NPR is now seen as the government’s first step towards the dangerous National Register of Citizens (NRC). Especially now, with all the data that the government is asking for, it is possible that the administration will be able to create a profile for the individual. Not only is this a threat to the privacy of the data that citizens so trustingly hand over to the government, but it poses an even bigger risk of the same being misused.

Related:

NPR 2020: What does it want to know?
NPR-NRC – FAQs
Advocate Mihir Desai’s point by point rebuttal of the GOI’s FAQ on CAA/ NPR-NRC
How dangerous is the CAA + NRC?
Census Data debunks claim of large-scale Bangladeshi immigration in Assam

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Modi must withdraw CAA: Ashok Gehlot

The Rajasthan CM said that the law was BJP’s plot to polarise the country

18 Jan 2020

Ashok gehlot

Recently, in an interview to The Hindu Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot spoke about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). In this interview, the Congress leader raised some interesting points about the law and the BJP that not only introduced it but also is campaigning rigorously to garner support for one of the most terrifyingly divisive laws of our times.

The BJP and specifically PM Narendra Modi has again and again said that those who are against the CAA are against offering refuge to victims of persecution from neighbouring countries. As per Gehlot this statement is not just a wilful misrepresentation of facts but a sinister plot to polarise the country. According to Gehlot, there is no opposition on giving citizenship to refugees but the intention behind the CAA is purely to aggravate communal tension. He further said that India does not need a law like CAA to grant citizenship to these refugees, it can be done without this law as well. He said BJP is only interested in building a fake narrative that they are the custodians of Hindu rights.

He reiterated that the letter that he had written in his previous term as Chief Minster to the then Central Home Minister was for giving citizenship to refugees from Pakistan and that he still stands by it as he is all for giving citizenship even now. He states that Rajasthan has given citizenship to 1,750 Pakistani refugees between 2016 and 2019. Currently, there are 17,574 Pakistani refugees in Rajasthan and 331 of them are Muslims.

In his tweet he, about his 2009 letter to the then Home Minister, he said, “Was it wrong to write to then home minister P Chidambaram for making facilities available to those who had come to the border areas of Rajasthan from Pakistan after facing persecution?” Gehlot has called out BJP’s nationalism to be hollow and said, "They are ruling in arrogance. With the majority that they have, they can make laws but cannot win the hearts of people. The country is burning today. 15 people have died in violence in Uttar Pradesh and the violence is happening where BJP is ruling.”

Gehlot also busted BJP’s claim that it has the mandate for CAA. He said even BJP’s allies are asking BJP to do a rethink on the law, like JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar. “This arrogance that they had the mandate to implement such a divisive law is bad for the country. Modiji must stop this obstinacy, see reason and withdraw the law,” Gehlot concluded.

 

Related:

NPR 2020: What does it want to know?
Dalit activists who have been fighting the good fight
Kolkata Muslim resident threatened with Hindutva rant at home
After Kerala, Punjab Assembly passes resolution against CAA
Global funds staying away from India, Modi magic failing?

Modi must withdraw CAA: Ashok Gehlot

The Rajasthan CM said that the law was BJP’s plot to polarise the country

Ashok gehlot

Recently, in an interview to The Hindu Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot spoke about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). In this interview, the Congress leader raised some interesting points about the law and the BJP that not only introduced it but also is campaigning rigorously to garner support for one of the most terrifyingly divisive laws of our times.

The BJP and specifically PM Narendra Modi has again and again said that those who are against the CAA are against offering refuge to victims of persecution from neighbouring countries. As per Gehlot this statement is not just a wilful misrepresentation of facts but a sinister plot to polarise the country. According to Gehlot, there is no opposition on giving citizenship to refugees but the intention behind the CAA is purely to aggravate communal tension. He further said that India does not need a law like CAA to grant citizenship to these refugees, it can be done without this law as well. He said BJP is only interested in building a fake narrative that they are the custodians of Hindu rights.

He reiterated that the letter that he had written in his previous term as Chief Minster to the then Central Home Minister was for giving citizenship to refugees from Pakistan and that he still stands by it as he is all for giving citizenship even now. He states that Rajasthan has given citizenship to 1,750 Pakistani refugees between 2016 and 2019. Currently, there are 17,574 Pakistani refugees in Rajasthan and 331 of them are Muslims.

In his tweet he, about his 2009 letter to the then Home Minister, he said, “Was it wrong to write to then home minister P Chidambaram for making facilities available to those who had come to the border areas of Rajasthan from Pakistan after facing persecution?” Gehlot has called out BJP’s nationalism to be hollow and said, "They are ruling in arrogance. With the majority that they have, they can make laws but cannot win the hearts of people. The country is burning today. 15 people have died in violence in Uttar Pradesh and the violence is happening where BJP is ruling.”

Gehlot also busted BJP’s claim that it has the mandate for CAA. He said even BJP’s allies are asking BJP to do a rethink on the law, like JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar. “This arrogance that they had the mandate to implement such a divisive law is bad for the country. Modiji must stop this obstinacy, see reason and withdraw the law,” Gehlot concluded.

 

Related:

NPR 2020: What does it want to know?
Dalit activists who have been fighting the good fight
Kolkata Muslim resident threatened with Hindutva rant at home
After Kerala, Punjab Assembly passes resolution against CAA
Global funds staying away from India, Modi magic failing?

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International educational institutions condemn police brutalities in JNU, Jamia, AMU

Education International, CSA and NTEU called upon the GoI to ensure that universities uphold democratic values and human rights for all

17 Jan 2020

Police Image courtesy: outlookindia.com

The violent attacks on the students and teachers of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in their fight for affordable education and right to freedom of expression have called for international condemnation.

Education International and its 400 member organizations representing 32.5 million teachers and education personnel in 171 countries has strongly criticized the incidents saying, “Universities  are the institutions that prepare the next generation of leaders, protect freedom of speech and freedom of expression, and uphold the dignity and human rights of all students and staff by providing a “safe space” to exercise these rights and to participate and contribute to an equal, democratic and just society.”

In its statement, Education International also said, “Recent attacks at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the Aligarh Muslim University, the Jamila Milia Islamia University and now JNU make it increasingly difficult for students, staff and their organisations to voice their opinions on government policies, politics and socio-economic issues, including their right to demand access to and provision of affordable quality education for all.”

Taking stock of the incidents where students of JNU were brutally attacked by the Delhi police during their fee hike protest and later the police inaction they witnessed as alleged right-wing goons attacked them in an attempt to break their strike, and also the brutal attacks on the students of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in the light of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests, the institution has called on the government of India to:

1. Conduct a thorough independent inquiry into the violence and bring the culprits to justice.

2. Immediately remove M. Jagadeesh Kumar from the position of Vice-Chancellor of the University for his continuous failure to maintain a safe academic environment.

3. Ensure that universities uphold democratic values and human rights for all.

4. Pressure the JNU administration to engage with the JNU students’ union and teachers’ union to find a solution to their demands.

Apart from the Educational International, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) also wrote a letter to JNU Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar saying, “Recent events at Jawaharlal Nehru University raise serious concerns about the integrity of the institution and its commitment to the pursuit of knowledge and the defence of its role as a community of scholars.”

Reaffirming that “universities have a special role in democracy” and “violence of any sort has no place in a University”, NTEU General Secretary Matthew McGowan asked the VC to “stand up to protect and defend the students and staff of the University, and to ensure that JNU’s long standing reputation as an defender of intellectual integrity and rigour is protected. We call on you and the Government of India to condemn these attacks in the interests of a strong and vibrant democracy, and to take all necessary actions to bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice.”

The Commonwealth Students Association too put out a press release in support of rallies to condemn police brutalities during peaceful student protests. In its statement Asia General Representative Shomy Hasan Chowdhury shared CSA’s stand on the issue saying, “We are deeply concerned by the violation of human rights to “freedom of expression and peaceful public association” indicated in reports of unjust and inhumane treatment by the police officers.”

Its statement also read, “The Commonwealth Students’ Association encourages similar student-led rallies to decry police brutality and promote values of tolerance, respect and understanding articulated in the Commonwealth Charter. We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that students’ rights, voices and interests are upheld and valued in decision-making processes and program implementation.”

The incidents of violence against students in premier educational institutions in India have had a seismic impact on the global educational community. This kind of show of solidarity has only bolstered student movements in India.

Related:

International condemnation for CAA, travel advisories issued
Human rights groups decry the use of torture in J&K, seek UN probe
India is losing its economic way: Growth is significantly lower, debt and distress are growing

International educational institutions condemn police brutalities in JNU, Jamia, AMU

Education International, CSA and NTEU called upon the GoI to ensure that universities uphold democratic values and human rights for all

Police Image courtesy: outlookindia.com

The violent attacks on the students and teachers of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in their fight for affordable education and right to freedom of expression have called for international condemnation.

Education International and its 400 member organizations representing 32.5 million teachers and education personnel in 171 countries has strongly criticized the incidents saying, “Universities  are the institutions that prepare the next generation of leaders, protect freedom of speech and freedom of expression, and uphold the dignity and human rights of all students and staff by providing a “safe space” to exercise these rights and to participate and contribute to an equal, democratic and just society.”

In its statement, Education International also said, “Recent attacks at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the Aligarh Muslim University, the Jamila Milia Islamia University and now JNU make it increasingly difficult for students, staff and their organisations to voice their opinions on government policies, politics and socio-economic issues, including their right to demand access to and provision of affordable quality education for all.”

Taking stock of the incidents where students of JNU were brutally attacked by the Delhi police during their fee hike protest and later the police inaction they witnessed as alleged right-wing goons attacked them in an attempt to break their strike, and also the brutal attacks on the students of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in the light of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests, the institution has called on the government of India to:

1. Conduct a thorough independent inquiry into the violence and bring the culprits to justice.

2. Immediately remove M. Jagadeesh Kumar from the position of Vice-Chancellor of the University for his continuous failure to maintain a safe academic environment.

3. Ensure that universities uphold democratic values and human rights for all.

4. Pressure the JNU administration to engage with the JNU students’ union and teachers’ union to find a solution to their demands.

Apart from the Educational International, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) also wrote a letter to JNU Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar saying, “Recent events at Jawaharlal Nehru University raise serious concerns about the integrity of the institution and its commitment to the pursuit of knowledge and the defence of its role as a community of scholars.”

Reaffirming that “universities have a special role in democracy” and “violence of any sort has no place in a University”, NTEU General Secretary Matthew McGowan asked the VC to “stand up to protect and defend the students and staff of the University, and to ensure that JNU’s long standing reputation as an defender of intellectual integrity and rigour is protected. We call on you and the Government of India to condemn these attacks in the interests of a strong and vibrant democracy, and to take all necessary actions to bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice.”

The Commonwealth Students Association too put out a press release in support of rallies to condemn police brutalities during peaceful student protests. In its statement Asia General Representative Shomy Hasan Chowdhury shared CSA’s stand on the issue saying, “We are deeply concerned by the violation of human rights to “freedom of expression and peaceful public association” indicated in reports of unjust and inhumane treatment by the police officers.”

Its statement also read, “The Commonwealth Students’ Association encourages similar student-led rallies to decry police brutality and promote values of tolerance, respect and understanding articulated in the Commonwealth Charter. We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that students’ rights, voices and interests are upheld and valued in decision-making processes and program implementation.”

The incidents of violence against students in premier educational institutions in India have had a seismic impact on the global educational community. This kind of show of solidarity has only bolstered student movements in India.

Related:

International condemnation for CAA, travel advisories issued
Human rights groups decry the use of torture in J&K, seek UN probe
India is losing its economic way: Growth is significantly lower, debt and distress are growing

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Performer stopped midway for dancing to “Qawwali”

The incident took place in Manjari Chaturvedi’s hometown where she was invited to perform by the UP government

17 Jan 2020

Manjari Chaturvedi

At an event that took place in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, famous Sufi-kathak dancer, Manjari Chaturvedi, was invited by the UP government to perform. It came as a rude shock to her when she was allegedly forced to stop her performance midway. The reason being, it was a qawwali act.

Manjari, whose career spans 2 decades, alleged that while she was performing, the music was stopped and an announcement was made for the next act. The danseuse told News18, "I thought it was a technical glitch but then the next act was announced. It was clear that this was not an error. When I enquired, I was told 'qawwali nahi chalegi yahan' (qawaali cannot happen here)."   She said this was the first time in her career that her performance was stopped for being a qawwali. She further said, “"I have performed across the world. I am shocked that this happened to me in Lucknow, my hometown."

The UP government has however denied the allegations and cited ‘some issue’ between the organisers and the performer. The government said that the act had to be completed before the arrival of Yogi Adityanath as a dinner was arranged with the chief minister. Since, the programme was running late, it had to be trimmed. An official gave clarification that they wanted to keep space for performance of other artists and hence they had to cut short Manjari’s performance. He also added that her performance was 'appreciated and enjoyed by all', including UP Assembly speaker.

Even the organisers gave a statement that the performance was interrupted due to "organisational compulsions and not due to any religious or linguistic basis".

 

Related:

Intense harshness of the state action to crush the voices of dissent in UP: People's Tribunal
Muzaffarnagar arrests go kaput: 19 get bail due to lack of evidence
Rihai Manch President finally walks out of jail
UP claims Pilibhit houses majority of the 32,000 ‘identified’ refugees
"As if Jama Masjid is in Pak", Delhi Judge rebukes cops in Bhim Army Case

Performer stopped midway for dancing to “Qawwali”

The incident took place in Manjari Chaturvedi’s hometown where she was invited to perform by the UP government

Manjari Chaturvedi

At an event that took place in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, famous Sufi-kathak dancer, Manjari Chaturvedi, was invited by the UP government to perform. It came as a rude shock to her when she was allegedly forced to stop her performance midway. The reason being, it was a qawwali act.

Manjari, whose career spans 2 decades, alleged that while she was performing, the music was stopped and an announcement was made for the next act. The danseuse told News18, "I thought it was a technical glitch but then the next act was announced. It was clear that this was not an error. When I enquired, I was told 'qawwali nahi chalegi yahan' (qawaali cannot happen here)."   She said this was the first time in her career that her performance was stopped for being a qawwali. She further said, “"I have performed across the world. I am shocked that this happened to me in Lucknow, my hometown."

The UP government has however denied the allegations and cited ‘some issue’ between the organisers and the performer. The government said that the act had to be completed before the arrival of Yogi Adityanath as a dinner was arranged with the chief minister. Since, the programme was running late, it had to be trimmed. An official gave clarification that they wanted to keep space for performance of other artists and hence they had to cut short Manjari’s performance. He also added that her performance was 'appreciated and enjoyed by all', including UP Assembly speaker.

Even the organisers gave a statement that the performance was interrupted due to "organisational compulsions and not due to any religious or linguistic basis".

 

Related:

Intense harshness of the state action to crush the voices of dissent in UP: People's Tribunal
Muzaffarnagar arrests go kaput: 19 get bail due to lack of evidence
Rihai Manch President finally walks out of jail
UP claims Pilibhit houses majority of the 32,000 ‘identified’ refugees
"As if Jama Masjid is in Pak", Delhi Judge rebukes cops in Bhim Army Case

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NPR 2020: What does it want to know?

The Central government has released the NPR instruction manual directed towards guiding enumerators and state as well as district co-ordinators for conducting the updation of NPR.

17 Jan 2020

NPR

The manual was released by Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner and it contains range of detailed instructions on how to go about the process of NPR which is scheduled for April 2020 and to be concluded by September 2020. It mentions that the enumerators who are appointed for the work of Houselisting and Housing Census will also conduct the NPR updation exercise.

What is NPR?

National Population Register (NPR) is being undertaken under the provisions of The Citizenship Act, 1955 and The Citizenship Rules, 2003. The NPR will contain the details of all the ‘usual residents’ of the country regardless of whether they are citizens or non-citizens of India. The electronic database of more than 119 crore usual residents of the country has already been created under NPR which was created in 2010 along with Houselisting and Housing Census 2010. As per decision of the Government of India, the NPR Database has been updated during 2015-16 in all States/UTs (except Assam and Meghalaya) to make a comprehensive resident database.  
 

What is updation of NPR?

The updation of NPR will include updating the existing NPR database by verifying the details of all residents by conducting a house to house enumeration by the enumerator (designated Government official) and modifying/correcting the demographic data items. It will also involve collecting Aadhaar number from residents, but only if they voluntarily provide it. The enumerators will also collect data like Mobile number, Election Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) or Voter ID Card number, Indian Passport number and Driving License number, if available with the residents

It will also include new resident and new households.

It is the responsibility of the State and UT governments to appoint the various field functionaries for the purpose of NPR. The prerogative of printing NPR booklets, forms, summary sheets and such other documents is of the States.

States like West Bengal, Kerala and Punjab have officially given out instruction to strictly carry out only Census related work and have stopped any or all NPR related activities within their respective states. Only time will tell how NPR will be updated with at least 3 states not participating in this process and what the outcome of this non-cooperation by the states will be.

Responsibilities of stakeholders

The roles and responsibilities of enumerators is to carefully fill up the forms and carry out the exercise as per instructions and to keep records safely. State co-ordinator is supposed to publish in State Gazette information regarding updation of NPR. It is also his responsibility to appoint various functionaries, manage expenditure and co-ordinate publicity for NPR. The Sub-district Magistrate/Registrar is also required to publicise that the numbers like Aadhaar number, Voter ID card number, mobile number, Passport number and Driving License number may be kept ready for when the enumerator comes for data collection.

The enumerators are also required to inform the residents that it is their duty to provide correct information regarding every normal resident in the household.

Method

There are specific instructions on how the information is to be recorded while updating NPR. Some important ones being that enumerators are advised to include as many members of the household as possible while collecting information for NPR. It is stated that the questions included in the NPR are self-explanatory and mainly deal with name of members of the household and their place of residence. The enumerators are to maintain highest level of accuracy while filling up or updating details in the NPR schedule.

The enumeration of Defence and similar Service Personnel who are living in strictly military or restricted areas (special charges) would not be done while undertaking updation of NPR.

The questionnaire

There are specific instructions on how to fill each and every question mentioned in the NPR form.

The questions include: Present address, Pin code, Household status, Number of members, Name of person, relationship to the Head, sex, marital status, date of birth, place of birth, Nationality, Passport number, educational qualification, occupation, mother tongue.

There is much detail to determine date of birth of person who is not sure about his date of birth. One of those methods is to determine whether a person was born before or after a particular season or festival. It is pertinent to note that there is a list of holidays given to consider but not one of these festivals is an Islamic Festival.

There is a special note in the “nationality” section which reads “Nationality recorded is as declared by the respondent. This does not confer any right to Indian Citizenship”. The needs to input such a statement in an instruction manual for enumerators casts a strong doubt on the intention of the government. With more and more people strongly suspecting that NPR is the first step towards NRC, it is not completely wrong to say that the inclusion of the above statement is a clear indication that government intends to determine the citizenship of the people, soon.

There is mention of a special note under the “mother tongue” section as well. It states, “If you have reasons to suspect that in any area due to any organised movement, the mother tongue is not being truthfully returned, you should record the mother tongue as actually returned by the respondent and make a report to your supervisory officers for verification.” There is also a special requirement that mother tongue of each and every person in the household must be separately recorded as it may happen that one member has a different mother tongue than the other.

Further questions seek data on: permanent address, duration of state and place of last residence, details of father, mother and spouse, Aadhaar number, mobile no., Voter ID no., driving license no.

Under details of father and mother, their name, date of birth and place of birth is being asked, if they are not already enumerated in the same household. While for spouse, only the name is sought.

NPR 2010 vs NPR 2020

It has been pointed out earlier that there is difference between the questions asked in NPR 2010 and the questions set to be asked in NPR 2020. NPR 2020 seeks additional data such as details of father, mother and spouse, Aadhaar number, mobile no., Voter ID no., driving license no., Passport number and mother tongue.

Basically, the NPR of 2020 seeks more personal data than before and seeks to enhance its database with such information. Such information will create a perfect profile of each individual with the government and since government ID cards are linked to banking related activities, income tax account, sim cards, demat, train bookings, flight bookings and other such services, government will be able to create a profile of each individual. With all data in one place of each individual, it poses a threat not just to the privacy of the data of the individual but also poses a great security risk. This data stands a chance to get misused a great deal. Since, people trust government officials, they give away their data easily without a second thought and this might lead to a perilous situation for the residents of this country.


The entire manual can be read here:
 
 

NPR 2020: What does it want to know?

The Central government has released the NPR instruction manual directed towards guiding enumerators and state as well as district co-ordinators for conducting the updation of NPR.

NPR

The manual was released by Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner and it contains range of detailed instructions on how to go about the process of NPR which is scheduled for April 2020 and to be concluded by September 2020. It mentions that the enumerators who are appointed for the work of Houselisting and Housing Census will also conduct the NPR updation exercise.

What is NPR?

National Population Register (NPR) is being undertaken under the provisions of The Citizenship Act, 1955 and The Citizenship Rules, 2003. The NPR will contain the details of all the ‘usual residents’ of the country regardless of whether they are citizens or non-citizens of India. The electronic database of more than 119 crore usual residents of the country has already been created under NPR which was created in 2010 along with Houselisting and Housing Census 2010. As per decision of the Government of India, the NPR Database has been updated during 2015-16 in all States/UTs (except Assam and Meghalaya) to make a comprehensive resident database.  
 

What is updation of NPR?

The updation of NPR will include updating the existing NPR database by verifying the details of all residents by conducting a house to house enumeration by the enumerator (designated Government official) and modifying/correcting the demographic data items. It will also involve collecting Aadhaar number from residents, but only if they voluntarily provide it. The enumerators will also collect data like Mobile number, Election Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) or Voter ID Card number, Indian Passport number and Driving License number, if available with the residents

It will also include new resident and new households.

It is the responsibility of the State and UT governments to appoint the various field functionaries for the purpose of NPR. The prerogative of printing NPR booklets, forms, summary sheets and such other documents is of the States.

States like West Bengal, Kerala and Punjab have officially given out instruction to strictly carry out only Census related work and have stopped any or all NPR related activities within their respective states. Only time will tell how NPR will be updated with at least 3 states not participating in this process and what the outcome of this non-cooperation by the states will be.

Responsibilities of stakeholders

The roles and responsibilities of enumerators is to carefully fill up the forms and carry out the exercise as per instructions and to keep records safely. State co-ordinator is supposed to publish in State Gazette information regarding updation of NPR. It is also his responsibility to appoint various functionaries, manage expenditure and co-ordinate publicity for NPR. The Sub-district Magistrate/Registrar is also required to publicise that the numbers like Aadhaar number, Voter ID card number, mobile number, Passport number and Driving License number may be kept ready for when the enumerator comes for data collection.

The enumerators are also required to inform the residents that it is their duty to provide correct information regarding every normal resident in the household.

Method

There are specific instructions on how the information is to be recorded while updating NPR. Some important ones being that enumerators are advised to include as many members of the household as possible while collecting information for NPR. It is stated that the questions included in the NPR are self-explanatory and mainly deal with name of members of the household and their place of residence. The enumerators are to maintain highest level of accuracy while filling up or updating details in the NPR schedule.

The enumeration of Defence and similar Service Personnel who are living in strictly military or restricted areas (special charges) would not be done while undertaking updation of NPR.

The questionnaire

There are specific instructions on how to fill each and every question mentioned in the NPR form.

The questions include: Present address, Pin code, Household status, Number of members, Name of person, relationship to the Head, sex, marital status, date of birth, place of birth, Nationality, Passport number, educational qualification, occupation, mother tongue.

There is much detail to determine date of birth of person who is not sure about his date of birth. One of those methods is to determine whether a person was born before or after a particular season or festival. It is pertinent to note that there is a list of holidays given to consider but not one of these festivals is an Islamic Festival.

There is a special note in the “nationality” section which reads “Nationality recorded is as declared by the respondent. This does not confer any right to Indian Citizenship”. The needs to input such a statement in an instruction manual for enumerators casts a strong doubt on the intention of the government. With more and more people strongly suspecting that NPR is the first step towards NRC, it is not completely wrong to say that the inclusion of the above statement is a clear indication that government intends to determine the citizenship of the people, soon.

There is mention of a special note under the “mother tongue” section as well. It states, “If you have reasons to suspect that in any area due to any organised movement, the mother tongue is not being truthfully returned, you should record the mother tongue as actually returned by the respondent and make a report to your supervisory officers for verification.” There is also a special requirement that mother tongue of each and every person in the household must be separately recorded as it may happen that one member has a different mother tongue than the other.

Further questions seek data on: permanent address, duration of state and place of last residence, details of father, mother and spouse, Aadhaar number, mobile no., Voter ID no., driving license no.

Under details of father and mother, their name, date of birth and place of birth is being asked, if they are not already enumerated in the same household. While for spouse, only the name is sought.

NPR 2010 vs NPR 2020

It has been pointed out earlier that there is difference between the questions asked in NPR 2010 and the questions set to be asked in NPR 2020. NPR 2020 seeks additional data such as details of father, mother and spouse, Aadhaar number, mobile no., Voter ID no., driving license no., Passport number and mother tongue.

Basically, the NPR of 2020 seeks more personal data than before and seeks to enhance its database with such information. Such information will create a perfect profile of each individual with the government and since government ID cards are linked to banking related activities, income tax account, sim cards, demat, train bookings, flight bookings and other such services, government will be able to create a profile of each individual. With all data in one place of each individual, it poses a threat not just to the privacy of the data of the individual but also poses a great security risk. This data stands a chance to get misused a great deal. Since, people trust government officials, they give away their data easily without a second thought and this might lead to a perilous situation for the residents of this country.


The entire manual can be read here:
 
 

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BJP supporters assault two JU students in Bikramgarh

Sabrangindia 17 Jan 2020

Around 9 PM on 14th January, two students of Jadavpur University was allegedly assaulted and manhandled by BJP supporters when they were passing by a venue where a BJP meeting was held. 
 
"We were walking past the meeting when we heard the man on the dais spewing hate against the JU students and the movement against CAA and NRC led by the students. Even though we were angered, we didn't say anything. However, someone in the crowd identified us as JU students and a group of  men came running from the meeting, blocked us and started beating us up," said Arjun Kar, a musician and student of Jadavpur University while speaking exclusively to SabrangIndia. 
 
A day after the incident, students of Jadavpur University organised a protest rally outside the JU campus. 
Watch the entire video here. 
 

 
 

BJP supporters assault two JU students in Bikramgarh

Around 9 PM on 14th January, two students of Jadavpur University was allegedly assaulted and manhandled by BJP supporters when they were passing by a venue where a BJP meeting was held. 
 
"We were walking past the meeting when we heard the man on the dais spewing hate against the JU students and the movement against CAA and NRC led by the students. Even though we were angered, we didn't say anything. However, someone in the crowd identified us as JU students and a group of  men came running from the meeting, blocked us and started beating us up," said Arjun Kar, a musician and student of Jadavpur University while speaking exclusively to SabrangIndia. 
 
A day after the incident, students of Jadavpur University organised a protest rally outside the JU campus. 
Watch the entire video here. 
 

 
 

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Intense harshness of the state action to crush the voices of dissent in UP: People's Tribunal

An investigation into multiple instances of police excesses committed against people peacefully protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) across Uttar Pradesh throws up horrifying revelations about how the regime is going about implementing it ugly communal agenda.

17 Jan 2020

UP POlice

Several human-rights groups came together for this project. They include Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG), Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reform (CJAR), Anhad, Not in My Name Campaign, National Alliance for People's Movement (NAPM), MKSS, NCPRI, NFIW, Karwan-E-Mohabbat, and others. On January 16, 2020, the jury presented a statement about their findings at the Indian Society of International Law in New Delhi. Here is the statement.

People’s Tribunal on State Action in UP: Citizenship, Democracy and Protest
16th January 2020 | Indian Society of International Law, Delhi | 10:30 am - 6:30 pm


Introduction

As peaceful protests were organized around the country against the CAA, NRIC and the NPR, the state of Uttar Pradesh stands out for the intense harshness of the state action to crush the voices of dissent. There were many deeply troubling reports of the brutality and intensity of police action which followed, which led to the formation of this People’s Tribunal to investigate the truth of the matter.

The jury of this People’s Tribunal is deeply worried and dismayed by the testimonies placed before it. It is convinced that the entire state machinery, led from the top, acted with grave prejudice and perpetrated violence targeting one particular community, the state’s Muslim population, and the social activists leading the movement.

The jury heard the testimonies of field workers, lawyers, human rights defenders, civil society activists, doctors, eyewitness accounts, and also looked at the videos of victims.

The following were the main findings of the Tribunal.


Police Violence:
The Jury found and concluded that the UP police has been guilty of inflicting enormous violence targeting the Muslim community, peaceful protestors, and not even sparing those were not involved in the protest. The police brutality included apart from violence inflicted on protestors, the arrest of and filing of false cases against innocent people, the destruction of vehicles and property by entering people’s homes, as well as CCTV cameras the threats and intimidation of people picked up, against speaking the truth about what happened to any authority or to the media, the communalised abuses against victims, custodial violence even on minors and firing and killing people without following the law, preventing medical personnel from treating the injured, and threatening the injured against accessing medical care.

The complaints of the victims about police brutality, violence and destruction of property were either not filed or filed incorrectly. On the other hand, thousands of FIRS were filed against unnamed persons on accusation that protestors had become violent with the intention of continued harassment and intimidation.


Role Political Executive and State Administration
The jury found that political and administrative leadership has failed to control the widespread atrocities caused by the police. In several instances, the jury have observed that senior leadership such as the Chief Minister directed the Police to use the strongest force against protesting citizens by using words like badla or revenge.

The Jury concludes that the state administration, through arbitrary and extensive imposition of Section 144 CrPC in several districts, shutting down of internet services, violated the citizens rights and facilitated police violence.


Role of Medical Officers:
Several people testified that hospital authorities and medical officers denied emergency medial care to even seriously injured victims. It was suggested that this was done allegedly under pressure from the police and state administration.

This has clearly been in violation of the Article 21 of the Constitution and the various decisions of the Supreme Court and international treaties to which India is signatory, finally the Hippocratic oath of medial professionals. Such denial does not take place even during war!


Impact on Survivors:
The Jury takes note of the looming anxiety within the families of those affected by this violence.

These instances of violence, abuse, and destruction of homes by the police have resulted in absolute fear and trauma in the community. It is important to understand that when the state is the perpetrator itself, there is no sense of security for those affected.

It appears that there is no health care or legal help accessible to victims in these difficult and testing times leaving them at a state of acute depression and or anxiety. Chances are that there will be large scale Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in this population unless addressed.

The Jury further acknowledges the immediate need for adequate mental health support for those affected by this crisis.
 

Attacks on Human Rights Defenders:
The Jury found several activists, journalists human rights defenders and lawyers who stood up to injustice were being persecuted, intimidated, harassed and tagged as ‘urban naxals’, anti -nationals. The Jury condemns the arbitrary arrests of the human rights activists and defenders.


Issues around Juveniles and Minors:
The Jury is of the opinion that the UP Police and State Administration have violated every principle enshrined in the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. Every single agency and mechanism that could have come to the rescue of children failed to do its duty. It also reveals that even the best of laws cannot fulfill its purpose if the executive machinery does not wish to see it being implemented well and judiciously.


Recovery of costs by the state:
The jury found that the police has been arbitrarily issueing notices to people for recovery of costs of damage to public property allegedly caused by them without specifying any details. Obviously, this cannot be done without establishing the culpability of the person in a court of law. These are intimidatory and illegal tactics being employed by the police. In fact, there is considerable evidence to show that the police itself indulged in destruction of private property of innocent people.


Concluding remarks:
The state of affairs in UP shows a complete collapse of rule of law. In fact the very state administration that is charged with protecting the rule of law is perpetrating violence upon its own people.

Press Note: People’s Tribunal on State Action in UP

16th January 2020 | Indian Society of International Law

Co-Organizers: Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG), Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reform (CJAR), Anhad, Not in My Name Campaign, National Alliance for People's Movement (NAPM), MKSS, NCPRI, NFIW, Karwan-E-Mohabbat, and others

Members of the Jury: Justice A P Shah, Justice Sudarshan Reddy, Justice V Gopala Gowda, Shantha Sinha, Prof Irfan Habib, Deb Mukherji, Chaman Lal, Dr. N C Saxena, Anirudh Kala

As peaceful protests were organized around the country against the CAA, NRIC and the NPR, the state of Uttar Pradesh stands out for the intense harshness of the state action to crush the voices of dissent. What unfolded was not in the nature of customary state action to control public protests if they turn violent.

The statements of the Chief Minister were intemperate and entirely inappropriate for an elected leader of the most populous state in India. There were many deeply troubling reports of the brutality and intensity of police action which followed.

The testimonies presented during the Tribunal were presented by victims of police brutality, various activists both present and who have since met victims, and experts on the various issues that the tribunal exposed.

During the proceedings, testimonies were presented on the deeply troubling violent reaction of the police in response to the anti-CAA protests in December 2019, the role of the CM and senior leadership in inciting this violence, the role of medial officers who were complicit in perpetrating violence and the effect on victims themselves.

During various fact-finding missions conducted by civil society organisations in Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Sambhal and Firozabad, from January 2 to 12, 2020 prior to the tribunal it was noted that all the violence was directed toward Muslim residents of these towns are now filled with immense grief and unimaginable fear. The scale of the violence is many times greater than this, but following is an account of the preliminary findings of the Karwan e Mohabbat fact-finding team:

1. Police firing
We visited families of the dead in these 4 towns – totalling 16. All of the 16 killed in Western UP are young men from Muslim working class families. Almost all their families said that they were not part of the procession, they were at the wrong place at wrong time. They died of bullet injuries. Of the 16, for which we have information, 14 of them were hit above waist – on chest, face, head, neck.

In Meerut,
Mohsin, 28, shot in the chest
Zaheer, 40, bullet went through one of his eyes.
Aleem, 23, shot in the head
Asif, 20, bullet hit his chest
Aasif, 33, a bullet landed on his back

In Sambhal
Bilal, 31, shot under the lower lip
Shehroze 19, shot in the stomach
In Muzaffarnagar,
Noora 25, hit on chest

In Ferozabad
Mukeem, 19, daily wage earner, hit in the stomach
Rashid, 27, bullet hit on head
Armaan, 24, daily wage worker, shot in the chest
Haroon, poor man, hit in the jaw
Shafiq, 39/40, daily wage worker, hit near the ear.
Some of these men died on the spot, others while being shifted from one to the other hospital.

2. Attacks on property

We visited homes which were ransacked and destroyed beyond repairs. In Muzaffarnagar, in house after house we visited in the two Muslim localities which were attacked by police on the night of December 20, – there was a pattern in destruction - the police had attacked only the most affluent houses, in each of the 4 houses we visited, everything that could be broken was thoroughly destroyed, systematically – the police pulled down kitchen cabinets breaking every piece of china, overturned groceries, smashed sinks and pulled open taps leading to flooding of the kitchens; broken bathroom fittings, wash basins, they smashed television sets, fridges, coolers, washing machines, furniture, switch boards; they upturned cupboards, and cars in all houses were vandalised and in one place upturned while police chanted Jai Shri Ram.
Family jewellery was looted, and cash stolen from two houses. The completely shattered members of families who visibly bore the signs of traumata and deep destress told us that the attacking police told them that they will live in their houses now as Muslims will have to leave. The police had interpreted the citizenship law as giving them license to force Muslims to Pakistan.

The attacks were led by local police, in some places joined by plainclothes miscreants. This is a new trend where the police is not a silent spectator in attacks but turns into a marauding mob. We saw police broken batons in two houses and a police cap left behind.People have not filed any FIRs for their loss.

3. Custodial Violence

The level of torture in the four towns in police custody was extremely high. Police did not even spare the children - in Muzaffarnagar police arrested 40 minors from an orphanage madrasa and beat the children. The Maulana of the Madarsa was beaten so badly that his legs and limbs were broken.
Police stripped the minors inside the police station and they received injuries on their behind.

In Sambhal, one young person, X - name changed - was brutally beaten and tortured by the police only because they found out that he was a Jamia student. The police beat him brutally in the custody and stripped him naked and beat him with belts and batons.

In Ferozabad, police took away 14 people from different places to Rasoolpur Police Station and from there to Makkhanpur Police Station. At first, the police beat and tortured them inside the Rasoolpur Police Station and then again in the Makkhanpur police station. City residents told us that these police stations are well-known butcheries.

The level of brutality was such that despite knowing the fact that one of the injured was a cancer patient (Ahmed Nabi) and a fractured leg, police beat him with extreme brutality and brought him to a hospital only after three days of his arrest. In the name of treatment, the medical department just gave him some pain killers and no plaster.

The family of the victim approached the court, his chemo session was due that week, and even after the court order, the police didn’t admit him to the hospital. It was only after the third court order directing the police to admit the victim to the hospital and under pressure from the media, the police admitted him to the Agra Medical College. We say an X-ray of his leg broken in two piece, without plaster almost 11 days after the incident.

Amir, a labourer was beaten so brutally that he received serious internal injuries. The police denied him medical treatment inside the custody and gave him third-degree treatment despite the fact that he was not even part of the protest.

In Meerut, police had arrested more than 100 people and they still roam around in the night in the Muslim localities in order to intimidate the local residents threatening to arrest more people.

In Muzaffarnagar, horrors unfolded as we spoke to Jameel. Frail and visibly shaken even after nearly twenty days, he narrated the details of his captivity. While he was looking for his brother in the chaos, he landed in the hands of the police who after beating him mercilessly, used a hot iron rod to inflict burn injuries in his hands.

He was then put in a car and further beaten. Kept in illegal detention in the barracks, for two days he was not given any food – and this is the story of all in police stattions. He was beaten badly in the first night as they repeatedly asked him to “give them hundred names”. He witnessed several other detainees being most brutally beaten, particularly those wearing kurta pajamas and having beard.

Daanish (minor, name changed) and his father were picked up from Meenakshi chowk. The minor was released only after two days allegedly in exchange for money and he narrated as to how he witnessed 4-6 masked men (not police) being let inside the police compound. Detainees would be taken out of lock up for them to be beaten up by the masked men to their heart’s content.

He said that only after the information reached the higher ups and when Priyanka Gandhi said she would visit the torture chambers, he was hurriedly released even without the usual protocol of their family members being called.

Families said that pain caused from brutal beating, made the detained very vulnerable. We were told their finger prints were put on desi pistols in police custody, if they refused, they were tortured more.


Hate Speech by Police
During our tour we heard in several places that police encouraged, persuaded and in a few cases even compelled the Hindu mob to burn and loot Muslim shops and houses and instead of controlling violence, police invited more violence. In Ferozabad, police chased the protesters into Hindu dominant mohalla and said to Hindu onlookers, Hum Hindu hai, tum bhi hindu ho, maro! This is when a cancer patient who was there to fill his prescription was caught by a mob and brutally beaten and his leg broken.

They also heard saying: “ye to Miyan bhaiyon ko humare Hindu bhaiyon ne muh laga rakha hai, warna inki auqat nahi hai ki ye kuch bolen” [Our brothers have kept these Mian (Muslims), otherwise they do not have the right to say something]. Further, the police said, “hume to abhi do ghante diye hai agar do din de den to inhe bata de ki hum kaun hai” [We have been given two hours now, if we give two days, then tell them who we are].

On 20th December 2019, Meerut Superintendent of Police (SP) Akhilesh Narayan Singh was caught on camera threatening Muslims. "Kahan jaoge? Is gali ko main theek karoonga [Where will you go? I will set this lane straight]. To the group of people wearing skull caps, he also said that "Jo kaali patti aur neeli patti baandh rahe ho unko keh do Pakistan chale jaayein [These black and blue badges you people are wearing, tell them to go to Pakistan].

Further he also threatens the people by saying that "Desh main agar nahin rehne ka mann hai to chale jao bhaiya...khaoge yahan, gaoge kahin aur ka Yeh gali mujhe yaad ho gayi hai. Aur jab mujhe yaad ho jaata hai toh mein naani tak pahunch jaata hun [If you don't want to live here, go to Pakistan...you eat here but sing praises of some other place. I am now familiar with this lane. And once I remember, I can even reach your grandmother].”

In Sambhal, the locals told that they have an audio recording of the District Magistrate of Sambhal asking some Hindu journalists why they were helping the Jihadis.

The tribunal witnessed testimonies from various human rights activists who were themselves victims of such brutality. Among these were:

Sadaf Jafar (socio-political activist) Rajeev Yadav (member of human rights group Rihai Manch), Sandeep Pandey (Magsaysay Award winner),S.R Darapuri (Amedkarite activist and retired IPS officer), Deepak Kabir (theatre actor and poet and Adv. Akram Akhtar Choudhury who works primarily in Muzaffarnagar.

The jury of this People’s Tribunal is deeply worried and dismayed by the testimonies placed before it. It is convinced that the entire state machinery, led from the top, acted with gravely culpable and unfortunate prejudice and violence clearly targeting one community alone, the state’s Muslim population.
The jury also observed that the role of the police has become a weapon in the hands of the communal agenda of the government. The Jury notes that UP stands out state authorities were active perpetrators of violence themselves and pressurised the health system to act against medical ethics and Supreme Court decisions in providing medical aid, most importantly emergency medical services.

It further acknowledges the looming anxiety within the families of those affected by this violence, for whom all the agents of the State that were meant for their protection have turned against them. Finally, the Jury observed that unless the police don't realise that they are only here for the protection of the rights of people then nothing will change. The biggest contribution of this tribunal, the jury said, is that these discrepancies and excesses are coming to the fore.
 

Intense harshness of the state action to crush the voices of dissent in UP: People's Tribunal

An investigation into multiple instances of police excesses committed against people peacefully protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) across Uttar Pradesh throws up horrifying revelations about how the regime is going about implementing it ugly communal agenda.

UP POlice

Several human-rights groups came together for this project. They include Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG), Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reform (CJAR), Anhad, Not in My Name Campaign, National Alliance for People's Movement (NAPM), MKSS, NCPRI, NFIW, Karwan-E-Mohabbat, and others. On January 16, 2020, the jury presented a statement about their findings at the Indian Society of International Law in New Delhi. Here is the statement.

People’s Tribunal on State Action in UP: Citizenship, Democracy and Protest
16th January 2020 | Indian Society of International Law, Delhi | 10:30 am - 6:30 pm


Introduction

As peaceful protests were organized around the country against the CAA, NRIC and the NPR, the state of Uttar Pradesh stands out for the intense harshness of the state action to crush the voices of dissent. There were many deeply troubling reports of the brutality and intensity of police action which followed, which led to the formation of this People’s Tribunal to investigate the truth of the matter.

The jury of this People’s Tribunal is deeply worried and dismayed by the testimonies placed before it. It is convinced that the entire state machinery, led from the top, acted with grave prejudice and perpetrated violence targeting one particular community, the state’s Muslim population, and the social activists leading the movement.

The jury heard the testimonies of field workers, lawyers, human rights defenders, civil society activists, doctors, eyewitness accounts, and also looked at the videos of victims.

The following were the main findings of the Tribunal.


Police Violence:
The Jury found and concluded that the UP police has been guilty of inflicting enormous violence targeting the Muslim community, peaceful protestors, and not even sparing those were not involved in the protest. The police brutality included apart from violence inflicted on protestors, the arrest of and filing of false cases against innocent people, the destruction of vehicles and property by entering people’s homes, as well as CCTV cameras the threats and intimidation of people picked up, against speaking the truth about what happened to any authority or to the media, the communalised abuses against victims, custodial violence even on minors and firing and killing people without following the law, preventing medical personnel from treating the injured, and threatening the injured against accessing medical care.

The complaints of the victims about police brutality, violence and destruction of property were either not filed or filed incorrectly. On the other hand, thousands of FIRS were filed against unnamed persons on accusation that protestors had become violent with the intention of continued harassment and intimidation.


Role Political Executive and State Administration
The jury found that political and administrative leadership has failed to control the widespread atrocities caused by the police. In several instances, the jury have observed that senior leadership such as the Chief Minister directed the Police to use the strongest force against protesting citizens by using words like badla or revenge.

The Jury concludes that the state administration, through arbitrary and extensive imposition of Section 144 CrPC in several districts, shutting down of internet services, violated the citizens rights and facilitated police violence.


Role of Medical Officers:
Several people testified that hospital authorities and medical officers denied emergency medial care to even seriously injured victims. It was suggested that this was done allegedly under pressure from the police and state administration.

This has clearly been in violation of the Article 21 of the Constitution and the various decisions of the Supreme Court and international treaties to which India is signatory, finally the Hippocratic oath of medial professionals. Such denial does not take place even during war!


Impact on Survivors:
The Jury takes note of the looming anxiety within the families of those affected by this violence.

These instances of violence, abuse, and destruction of homes by the police have resulted in absolute fear and trauma in the community. It is important to understand that when the state is the perpetrator itself, there is no sense of security for those affected.

It appears that there is no health care or legal help accessible to victims in these difficult and testing times leaving them at a state of acute depression and or anxiety. Chances are that there will be large scale Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in this population unless addressed.

The Jury further acknowledges the immediate need for adequate mental health support for those affected by this crisis.
 

Attacks on Human Rights Defenders:
The Jury found several activists, journalists human rights defenders and lawyers who stood up to injustice were being persecuted, intimidated, harassed and tagged as ‘urban naxals’, anti -nationals. The Jury condemns the arbitrary arrests of the human rights activists and defenders.


Issues around Juveniles and Minors:
The Jury is of the opinion that the UP Police and State Administration have violated every principle enshrined in the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. Every single agency and mechanism that could have come to the rescue of children failed to do its duty. It also reveals that even the best of laws cannot fulfill its purpose if the executive machinery does not wish to see it being implemented well and judiciously.


Recovery of costs by the state:
The jury found that the police has been arbitrarily issueing notices to people for recovery of costs of damage to public property allegedly caused by them without specifying any details. Obviously, this cannot be done without establishing the culpability of the person in a court of law. These are intimidatory and illegal tactics being employed by the police. In fact, there is considerable evidence to show that the police itself indulged in destruction of private property of innocent people.


Concluding remarks:
The state of affairs in UP shows a complete collapse of rule of law. In fact the very state administration that is charged with protecting the rule of law is perpetrating violence upon its own people.

Press Note: People’s Tribunal on State Action in UP

16th January 2020 | Indian Society of International Law

Co-Organizers: Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG), Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reform (CJAR), Anhad, Not in My Name Campaign, National Alliance for People's Movement (NAPM), MKSS, NCPRI, NFIW, Karwan-E-Mohabbat, and others

Members of the Jury: Justice A P Shah, Justice Sudarshan Reddy, Justice V Gopala Gowda, Shantha Sinha, Prof Irfan Habib, Deb Mukherji, Chaman Lal, Dr. N C Saxena, Anirudh Kala

As peaceful protests were organized around the country against the CAA, NRIC and the NPR, the state of Uttar Pradesh stands out for the intense harshness of the state action to crush the voices of dissent. What unfolded was not in the nature of customary state action to control public protests if they turn violent.

The statements of the Chief Minister were intemperate and entirely inappropriate for an elected leader of the most populous state in India. There were many deeply troubling reports of the brutality and intensity of police action which followed.

The testimonies presented during the Tribunal were presented by victims of police brutality, various activists both present and who have since met victims, and experts on the various issues that the tribunal exposed.

During the proceedings, testimonies were presented on the deeply troubling violent reaction of the police in response to the anti-CAA protests in December 2019, the role of the CM and senior leadership in inciting this violence, the role of medial officers who were complicit in perpetrating violence and the effect on victims themselves.

During various fact-finding missions conducted by civil society organisations in Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Sambhal and Firozabad, from January 2 to 12, 2020 prior to the tribunal it was noted that all the violence was directed toward Muslim residents of these towns are now filled with immense grief and unimaginable fear. The scale of the violence is many times greater than this, but following is an account of the preliminary findings of the Karwan e Mohabbat fact-finding team:

1. Police firing
We visited families of the dead in these 4 towns – totalling 16. All of the 16 killed in Western UP are young men from Muslim working class families. Almost all their families said that they were not part of the procession, they were at the wrong place at wrong time. They died of bullet injuries. Of the 16, for which we have information, 14 of them were hit above waist – on chest, face, head, neck.

In Meerut,
Mohsin, 28, shot in the chest
Zaheer, 40, bullet went through one of his eyes.
Aleem, 23, shot in the head
Asif, 20, bullet hit his chest
Aasif, 33, a bullet landed on his back

In Sambhal
Bilal, 31, shot under the lower lip
Shehroze 19, shot in the stomach
In Muzaffarnagar,
Noora 25, hit on chest

In Ferozabad
Mukeem, 19, daily wage earner, hit in the stomach
Rashid, 27, bullet hit on head
Armaan, 24, daily wage worker, shot in the chest
Haroon, poor man, hit in the jaw
Shafiq, 39/40, daily wage worker, hit near the ear.
Some of these men died on the spot, others while being shifted from one to the other hospital.

2. Attacks on property

We visited homes which were ransacked and destroyed beyond repairs. In Muzaffarnagar, in house after house we visited in the two Muslim localities which were attacked by police on the night of December 20, – there was a pattern in destruction - the police had attacked only the most affluent houses, in each of the 4 houses we visited, everything that could be broken was thoroughly destroyed, systematically – the police pulled down kitchen cabinets breaking every piece of china, overturned groceries, smashed sinks and pulled open taps leading to flooding of the kitchens; broken bathroom fittings, wash basins, they smashed television sets, fridges, coolers, washing machines, furniture, switch boards; they upturned cupboards, and cars in all houses were vandalised and in one place upturned while police chanted Jai Shri Ram.
Family jewellery was looted, and cash stolen from two houses. The completely shattered members of families who visibly bore the signs of traumata and deep destress told us that the attacking police told them that they will live in their houses now as Muslims will have to leave. The police had interpreted the citizenship law as giving them license to force Muslims to Pakistan.

The attacks were led by local police, in some places joined by plainclothes miscreants. This is a new trend where the police is not a silent spectator in attacks but turns into a marauding mob. We saw police broken batons in two houses and a police cap left behind.People have not filed any FIRs for their loss.

3. Custodial Violence

The level of torture in the four towns in police custody was extremely high. Police did not even spare the children - in Muzaffarnagar police arrested 40 minors from an orphanage madrasa and beat the children. The Maulana of the Madarsa was beaten so badly that his legs and limbs were broken.
Police stripped the minors inside the police station and they received injuries on their behind.

In Sambhal, one young person, X - name changed - was brutally beaten and tortured by the police only because they found out that he was a Jamia student. The police beat him brutally in the custody and stripped him naked and beat him with belts and batons.

In Ferozabad, police took away 14 people from different places to Rasoolpur Police Station and from there to Makkhanpur Police Station. At first, the police beat and tortured them inside the Rasoolpur Police Station and then again in the Makkhanpur police station. City residents told us that these police stations are well-known butcheries.

The level of brutality was such that despite knowing the fact that one of the injured was a cancer patient (Ahmed Nabi) and a fractured leg, police beat him with extreme brutality and brought him to a hospital only after three days of his arrest. In the name of treatment, the medical department just gave him some pain killers and no plaster.

The family of the victim approached the court, his chemo session was due that week, and even after the court order, the police didn’t admit him to the hospital. It was only after the third court order directing the police to admit the victim to the hospital and under pressure from the media, the police admitted him to the Agra Medical College. We say an X-ray of his leg broken in two piece, without plaster almost 11 days after the incident.

Amir, a labourer was beaten so brutally that he received serious internal injuries. The police denied him medical treatment inside the custody and gave him third-degree treatment despite the fact that he was not even part of the protest.

In Meerut, police had arrested more than 100 people and they still roam around in the night in the Muslim localities in order to intimidate the local residents threatening to arrest more people.

In Muzaffarnagar, horrors unfolded as we spoke to Jameel. Frail and visibly shaken even after nearly twenty days, he narrated the details of his captivity. While he was looking for his brother in the chaos, he landed in the hands of the police who after beating him mercilessly, used a hot iron rod to inflict burn injuries in his hands.

He was then put in a car and further beaten. Kept in illegal detention in the barracks, for two days he was not given any food – and this is the story of all in police stattions. He was beaten badly in the first night as they repeatedly asked him to “give them hundred names”. He witnessed several other detainees being most brutally beaten, particularly those wearing kurta pajamas and having beard.

Daanish (minor, name changed) and his father were picked up from Meenakshi chowk. The minor was released only after two days allegedly in exchange for money and he narrated as to how he witnessed 4-6 masked men (not police) being let inside the police compound. Detainees would be taken out of lock up for them to be beaten up by the masked men to their heart’s content.

He said that only after the information reached the higher ups and when Priyanka Gandhi said she would visit the torture chambers, he was hurriedly released even without the usual protocol of their family members being called.

Families said that pain caused from brutal beating, made the detained very vulnerable. We were told their finger prints were put on desi pistols in police custody, if they refused, they were tortured more.


Hate Speech by Police
During our tour we heard in several places that police encouraged, persuaded and in a few cases even compelled the Hindu mob to burn and loot Muslim shops and houses and instead of controlling violence, police invited more violence. In Ferozabad, police chased the protesters into Hindu dominant mohalla and said to Hindu onlookers, Hum Hindu hai, tum bhi hindu ho, maro! This is when a cancer patient who was there to fill his prescription was caught by a mob and brutally beaten and his leg broken.

They also heard saying: “ye to Miyan bhaiyon ko humare Hindu bhaiyon ne muh laga rakha hai, warna inki auqat nahi hai ki ye kuch bolen” [Our brothers have kept these Mian (Muslims), otherwise they do not have the right to say something]. Further, the police said, “hume to abhi do ghante diye hai agar do din de den to inhe bata de ki hum kaun hai” [We have been given two hours now, if we give two days, then tell them who we are].

On 20th December 2019, Meerut Superintendent of Police (SP) Akhilesh Narayan Singh was caught on camera threatening Muslims. "Kahan jaoge? Is gali ko main theek karoonga [Where will you go? I will set this lane straight]. To the group of people wearing skull caps, he also said that "Jo kaali patti aur neeli patti baandh rahe ho unko keh do Pakistan chale jaayein [These black and blue badges you people are wearing, tell them to go to Pakistan].

Further he also threatens the people by saying that "Desh main agar nahin rehne ka mann hai to chale jao bhaiya...khaoge yahan, gaoge kahin aur ka Yeh gali mujhe yaad ho gayi hai. Aur jab mujhe yaad ho jaata hai toh mein naani tak pahunch jaata hun [If you don't want to live here, go to Pakistan...you eat here but sing praises of some other place. I am now familiar with this lane. And once I remember, I can even reach your grandmother].”

In Sambhal, the locals told that they have an audio recording of the District Magistrate of Sambhal asking some Hindu journalists why they were helping the Jihadis.

The tribunal witnessed testimonies from various human rights activists who were themselves victims of such brutality. Among these were:

Sadaf Jafar (socio-political activist) Rajeev Yadav (member of human rights group Rihai Manch), Sandeep Pandey (Magsaysay Award winner),S.R Darapuri (Amedkarite activist and retired IPS officer), Deepak Kabir (theatre actor and poet and Adv. Akram Akhtar Choudhury who works primarily in Muzaffarnagar.

The jury of this People’s Tribunal is deeply worried and dismayed by the testimonies placed before it. It is convinced that the entire state machinery, led from the top, acted with gravely culpable and unfortunate prejudice and violence clearly targeting one community alone, the state’s Muslim population.
The jury also observed that the role of the police has become a weapon in the hands of the communal agenda of the government. The Jury notes that UP stands out state authorities were active perpetrators of violence themselves and pressurised the health system to act against medical ethics and Supreme Court decisions in providing medical aid, most importantly emergency medical services.

It further acknowledges the looming anxiety within the families of those affected by this violence, for whom all the agents of the State that were meant for their protection have turned against them. Finally, the Jury observed that unless the police don't realise that they are only here for the protection of the rights of people then nothing will change. The biggest contribution of this tribunal, the jury said, is that these discrepancies and excesses are coming to the fore.
 

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