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Gujarat genocide: SC grants bail to 14 convicted in Sardarpura massacre

The court has asked them to do social and spiritual work

29 Jan 2020

Gujarat Riots

The Supreme Court on January 28 granted bail to all 14 convicts in the Sardarpura massacre that took place in wake of the Godhra train burning incident in 2002. A bench comprising Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant directed they perform social and spiritual service. The Sardarpura massacre took place on  February 28, 2002, when 33 Muslims, including 22 women were burnt alive at Sardarpura village in Vijapur tehsil of Mehsana district. 

The convicts have been split in two groups, one group would be moved to Indore and the other to Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. This was done as the advocate for the convicts said that they should be moved out of Gujarat for their security. The 14 convicts will be kept confined to the territorial limits of Indore and Jabalpur under the supervision of the district legal authorities, the order said. The order further said that the convicts will have to undertake community services for six hours a week besides reporting to the local police station on a weekly basis; these were the conditions of their bail. The court asked them to do social and spiritual work while on bail. District legal authorities were also directed to find livelihood for the convicts and to file compliance report recording the conduct of the convicts.

There were two bail applications that the bench heard. The main applicant, convict Prahladbhai Jagabhai Patel said in his application that the sentencing of six of the 14 convicts was based upon one eye witness account. The second application of the rest of the convicts stated that their conviction was based on account of one or two witnesses only.

The bail was opposed by counsel appearing for state of Gujarat saying that a trial court had convicted 18 persons in this case, of which one died and 17 had appealed to the Gujarat High Court. The Gujarat High Court had then sentenced 14 of these accused to life imprisonment in 2016, while acquitting 3. The conviction of these 14 people is in appeal before the apex court at present.  https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

 

Related:

Pistol brandishing man threatens Shaheen Bagh protesters
Proof of religion likely for application under CAA
Allahabad HC asks for govt report on alleged police atrocities in state
Former BJP minister Yashwant Sinha slams party over CAA

 

Gujarat genocide: SC grants bail to 14 convicted in Sardarpura massacre

The court has asked them to do social and spiritual work

Gujarat Riots

The Supreme Court on January 28 granted bail to all 14 convicts in the Sardarpura massacre that took place in wake of the Godhra train burning incident in 2002. A bench comprising Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant directed they perform social and spiritual service. The Sardarpura massacre took place on  February 28, 2002, when 33 Muslims, including 22 women were burnt alive at Sardarpura village in Vijapur tehsil of Mehsana district. 

The convicts have been split in two groups, one group would be moved to Indore and the other to Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. This was done as the advocate for the convicts said that they should be moved out of Gujarat for their security. The 14 convicts will be kept confined to the territorial limits of Indore and Jabalpur under the supervision of the district legal authorities, the order said. The order further said that the convicts will have to undertake community services for six hours a week besides reporting to the local police station on a weekly basis; these were the conditions of their bail. The court asked them to do social and spiritual work while on bail. District legal authorities were also directed to find livelihood for the convicts and to file compliance report recording the conduct of the convicts.

There were two bail applications that the bench heard. The main applicant, convict Prahladbhai Jagabhai Patel said in his application that the sentencing of six of the 14 convicts was based upon one eye witness account. The second application of the rest of the convicts stated that their conviction was based on account of one or two witnesses only.

The bail was opposed by counsel appearing for state of Gujarat saying that a trial court had convicted 18 persons in this case, of which one died and 17 had appealed to the Gujarat High Court. The Gujarat High Court had then sentenced 14 of these accused to life imprisonment in 2016, while acquitting 3. The conviction of these 14 people is in appeal before the apex court at present.  https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

 

Related:

Pistol brandishing man threatens Shaheen Bagh protesters
Proof of religion likely for application under CAA
Allahabad HC asks for govt report on alleged police atrocities in state
Former BJP minister Yashwant Sinha slams party over CAA

 

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Allahabad HC asks for govt report on alleged police atrocities in state

The two-judge bench questioned govt on truthfulness of media reports

29 Jan 2020

CAAImage Courtesy: india.com

The Allahabad High Court has asked UP government to submit a report on allegations of police atrocities on anti-CAA protestors. This order was passed by a two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Verma while hearing a number of PILs against the UP police action.

The Court asked the government to mention how many people died during the anti-CAA protests in the state and about the complaints registered against the police. The court also asked whether truthfulness of media reports in this regard has been examined or not.

Rights activists have alleged that there was a reign of terror in UP while suppressing the anti-CAA protests in the state. The PILs have demanded a Supreme Court monitored SIT probe to ascertain the role of police and determine the truth behind the killings in the protests.

About 20 people have been reportedly killed during the anti-CAA protests in the state.

The UP administration and the police have all along denied any wrongdoings.

December proved to be the worst month for the state of Uttar Pradesh and things look better now on the surface, the administrative action continues. Uttar Pradesh saw the worst of prohibitive action under section 144, worst of the police action, 20 deaths due to police brutality, thousands of people being detained and hundreds being arrested; all this after anti-CAA protests started erupting in the state. People belonging to Muslim community were especially targeted even though they were not partaking in the protests.

People who condemned the violence and barbaric acts of the state are hopeful that the PILs will address these issues and bring the perpetrators to book. 

The next hearing of the case is on February 17.

Related:

West Bengal Assembly next in line to pass resolution against CAA
IIT-B holds Tiranga rally to strengthen unity and create awareness against CAA-NPR-NRC
Proof of religion likely for application under CAA
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Assam is different from rest of the country

Allahabad HC asks for govt report on alleged police atrocities in state

The two-judge bench questioned govt on truthfulness of media reports

CAAImage Courtesy: india.com

The Allahabad High Court has asked UP government to submit a report on allegations of police atrocities on anti-CAA protestors. This order was passed by a two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Verma while hearing a number of PILs against the UP police action.

The Court asked the government to mention how many people died during the anti-CAA protests in the state and about the complaints registered against the police. The court also asked whether truthfulness of media reports in this regard has been examined or not.

Rights activists have alleged that there was a reign of terror in UP while suppressing the anti-CAA protests in the state. The PILs have demanded a Supreme Court monitored SIT probe to ascertain the role of police and determine the truth behind the killings in the protests.

About 20 people have been reportedly killed during the anti-CAA protests in the state.

The UP administration and the police have all along denied any wrongdoings.

December proved to be the worst month for the state of Uttar Pradesh and things look better now on the surface, the administrative action continues. Uttar Pradesh saw the worst of prohibitive action under section 144, worst of the police action, 20 deaths due to police brutality, thousands of people being detained and hundreds being arrested; all this after anti-CAA protests started erupting in the state. People belonging to Muslim community were especially targeted even though they were not partaking in the protests.

People who condemned the violence and barbaric acts of the state are hopeful that the PILs will address these issues and bring the perpetrators to book. 

The next hearing of the case is on February 17.

Related:

West Bengal Assembly next in line to pass resolution against CAA
IIT-B holds Tiranga rally to strengthen unity and create awareness against CAA-NPR-NRC
Proof of religion likely for application under CAA
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Assam is different from rest of the country

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New petition in SC against NPR citing data privacy concerns

27 Jan 2020

NPR

A petition has been filed by three residents of Bihar in the Supreme Court seeking to quash the gazette notification regarding conduct of National Population Register (NPR) between April and September 2020. The Supreme Court Bench led by CJI S.A. Bobde has accordingly, issued formal notice to the Central Government, in this petition filed by one Udagar Ram and two others.

At a recently concluded meeting with state representatives, many states had raised objections on the question asking for parents’ place of birth. After this meeting, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), made a statement that questions in NPR are voluntary.

The petition contends that updation of NPR amounts to gross violation of privacy of citizens. Even the nature of the exercise is manifestly arbitrary and such a database would “erode basic freedoms that the people in India currently enjoy. The petition also points out that “no grounds of doubtfulness” have been specified neither is there a guarantee of protection and security of the data that is being collected through the NPR.

The petition also states that the provisions in the Citizenship Act, 1955, and The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 regarding National Population Register as well the MHA notification dated July 31, 2019 are all violative of the fundamental rights as enumerated in the Indian Constitution.

There is no probable cause for the State to inquire into the personal details of a private citizen unless an investigation has revealed that the entire population has acted in an unlawful manner, the petition said.

It also states that through NPR, the State seeks to invade the privacy of people without first establishing that people are acting in an unlawful manner. The petition termed NPR to be unlawful and stated that NPR is being piggy-backed on the exercise of the first phase of Census 2021, also known as the Houselisting phase.

“Needless to say that the Census is carried out under a wholly different authority, i.e. the Census Commissioner under the aegis of the Census Act, 1948. The Census Act, 1948, also provides that no information collected during the census would be used in civil or criminal proceedings nor would be disclosed, the information collected under the NPR exercise is not guaranteed the same protection,” the petition said.

Although NPR questions are not mandatory, the NPR instruction manual does not ask its enumerators to specify this fact to the people who will be asked these questions. Also, information being collected under NPR is not guaranteed any protection from misuse under the Citizenship Rules, 2003.

 

Related:

SC seeks govt. response to plea by three Bihar residents to quash NPR notification
Multipurpose National Identity Card, recall from 2003
CAA-NRC-NPR toxic to all Indians, not just Muslims
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Assam is different from rest of the country
CAA-NPR-NRC means of harassing specific communities: Teesta Setalvad
TN: NPR letter as KYC document causes panic, people withdraw money

 

New petition in SC against NPR citing data privacy concerns

NPR

A petition has been filed by three residents of Bihar in the Supreme Court seeking to quash the gazette notification regarding conduct of National Population Register (NPR) between April and September 2020. The Supreme Court Bench led by CJI S.A. Bobde has accordingly, issued formal notice to the Central Government, in this petition filed by one Udagar Ram and two others.

At a recently concluded meeting with state representatives, many states had raised objections on the question asking for parents’ place of birth. After this meeting, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), made a statement that questions in NPR are voluntary.

The petition contends that updation of NPR amounts to gross violation of privacy of citizens. Even the nature of the exercise is manifestly arbitrary and such a database would “erode basic freedoms that the people in India currently enjoy. The petition also points out that “no grounds of doubtfulness” have been specified neither is there a guarantee of protection and security of the data that is being collected through the NPR.

The petition also states that the provisions in the Citizenship Act, 1955, and The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 regarding National Population Register as well the MHA notification dated July 31, 2019 are all violative of the fundamental rights as enumerated in the Indian Constitution.

There is no probable cause for the State to inquire into the personal details of a private citizen unless an investigation has revealed that the entire population has acted in an unlawful manner, the petition said.

It also states that through NPR, the State seeks to invade the privacy of people without first establishing that people are acting in an unlawful manner. The petition termed NPR to be unlawful and stated that NPR is being piggy-backed on the exercise of the first phase of Census 2021, also known as the Houselisting phase.

“Needless to say that the Census is carried out under a wholly different authority, i.e. the Census Commissioner under the aegis of the Census Act, 1948. The Census Act, 1948, also provides that no information collected during the census would be used in civil or criminal proceedings nor would be disclosed, the information collected under the NPR exercise is not guaranteed the same protection,” the petition said.

Although NPR questions are not mandatory, the NPR instruction manual does not ask its enumerators to specify this fact to the people who will be asked these questions. Also, information being collected under NPR is not guaranteed any protection from misuse under the Citizenship Rules, 2003.

 

Related:

SC seeks govt. response to plea by three Bihar residents to quash NPR notification
Multipurpose National Identity Card, recall from 2003
CAA-NRC-NPR toxic to all Indians, not just Muslims
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Assam is different from rest of the country
CAA-NPR-NRC means of harassing specific communities: Teesta Setalvad
TN: NPR letter as KYC document causes panic, people withdraw money

 

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EXCLUSIVE: Sam Stafford died of gun-shot wounds: Post-mortem report

Medical experts say that the Assam teenager who was killed during anti-CAA protests, may have been shot at close range

27 Jan 2020

Sam Stafford died of gun-shot

Guwahati, 24th January: Sam Stafford was a 17-year-old student of class 10 and an aspiring musician when he was killed in police firing at Hatigaon in Guwahati on December 12, 2019, on his way back from a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Now, his post-mortem report is out and it proves that the teenager did indeed sustain gun-shot wounds, negating decisively the police’s version that they had fired blanks.

According to this report, Sam Stafford’s death was due to shock and hemorrhage as a result of injuries sustained antemortem or before death. While some were bullet injuries including four entry and exit wounds due to two bullets, there were six injuries caused by blunt force impact. He was shot in the face and in the back, and also sustained injuries to his knees. The report says, “died due to shock and hemorrhage as a result of injuries sustained over the body as described. All the injuries were antemortem and caused by rifled firearm, accept the injury no. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8 which were caused by blunt force impact.”

The entire report may be viewed here. 

 

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We spoke to a few medical experts who told us on condition of anonymity that it appears that based on the angle of entry and exit wounds, Stafford was fired at close range. It is also noteworthy that while one bullet was fired from behind into Stafford’s back, another was fired from the front, suggesting there were two people firing at the same young boy. This also suggests that the firing was deliberate, revealing the cold-blooded and planned nature of the attack.

Here's a brief account of how things transpired in the run up to the police firing.
 

What happened on December 11, 2019

CAB was tabled and passed in the floor of the Lok Sabha on December 11, 2019. Immediately, the situation in Assam began to deteriorate rapidly. The government of Assam declared curfew in Guwahati city along with various parts of Assam at 7 pm on the same day. A huge number of protesters in Guwahati city were burning effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal and powerful Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sharma. Lakhs of people came out of the road and almost all corner and cross roads were littered with burning tyres, bringing traffic to a stand-still and making it impossible for anyone to pass through.

This is when Aktar Ali, CJP state team member who was returning from Cotton College area after covering the news of heavy protest by students along with other team member of CJP, found that Sam Stafford was busy in saving lives and properties of people in Hatigaon area. Aktar Ali said, “When we were returning from Cotton College, we were unable to find a way to reach Bhetapara which was our last destination of the day. After crossing the railway over bridge near B. Baruah College we found that the road from flyover to Ulubari was blocked. There was no option to proceed through the road. So, we entered Solapara road but that was also closed due to heavy protest.”

Explaining the team’s predicament, he added, “We moved one sub road to another and thus we could reach at Sijubari mazar after about three hours. From there we could not proceed to the road from Sijubari to Ghoramara for which we took the way through Hatigaon to Bhetapara.” Shortly after this Akhtar met Stafford. He says, “When we passed Hatigaon police station a group of teenagers requested us not to proceed further as our car may be burnt by the protestors. Sam Stafford was leading this group of teenagers. We could not ignore them and returned to Sijubari and all other members of our team walked through the road to reach their destination. I was saddened to hear that the same Sam Stafford who saved our life and car the previous day, was brutally killed by Assam police personnel on December 12.”


What happened on December 12, 2019

On December 12, 2019 there was a huge rally at Latashil playground violating the curfew. The protest was led by All Assam Students Union (AASU) where popular artists like Zubin Garg, Manash Rabin and Barsharani Bishaya made an appearance, and thousands of people attended. Sam Stafford was fond of music and fan of Zubin Garg as he was also playing music with Manash Rabin and Nekib, he attended the protest to see Zubin Garg up close. When he was returning from Latashil playground after the day long protes, he became a victim of gun fire by the Assam police. The incident took place near Namghor path of Hatigaon area in the evening of that day.

EXCLUSIVE: Sam Stafford died of gun-shot wounds: Post-mortem report

Medical experts say that the Assam teenager who was killed during anti-CAA protests, may have been shot at close range

Sam Stafford died of gun-shot

Guwahati, 24th January: Sam Stafford was a 17-year-old student of class 10 and an aspiring musician when he was killed in police firing at Hatigaon in Guwahati on December 12, 2019, on his way back from a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Now, his post-mortem report is out and it proves that the teenager did indeed sustain gun-shot wounds, negating decisively the police’s version that they had fired blanks.

According to this report, Sam Stafford’s death was due to shock and hemorrhage as a result of injuries sustained antemortem or before death. While some were bullet injuries including four entry and exit wounds due to two bullets, there were six injuries caused by blunt force impact. He was shot in the face and in the back, and also sustained injuries to his knees. The report says, “died due to shock and hemorrhage as a result of injuries sustained over the body as described. All the injuries were antemortem and caused by rifled firearm, accept the injury no. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8 which were caused by blunt force impact.”

The entire report may be viewed here. 

 

1

4

2

3

We spoke to a few medical experts who told us on condition of anonymity that it appears that based on the angle of entry and exit wounds, Stafford was fired at close range. It is also noteworthy that while one bullet was fired from behind into Stafford’s back, another was fired from the front, suggesting there were two people firing at the same young boy. This also suggests that the firing was deliberate, revealing the cold-blooded and planned nature of the attack.

Here's a brief account of how things transpired in the run up to the police firing.
 

What happened on December 11, 2019

CAB was tabled and passed in the floor of the Lok Sabha on December 11, 2019. Immediately, the situation in Assam began to deteriorate rapidly. The government of Assam declared curfew in Guwahati city along with various parts of Assam at 7 pm on the same day. A huge number of protesters in Guwahati city were burning effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal and powerful Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sharma. Lakhs of people came out of the road and almost all corner and cross roads were littered with burning tyres, bringing traffic to a stand-still and making it impossible for anyone to pass through.

This is when Aktar Ali, CJP state team member who was returning from Cotton College area after covering the news of heavy protest by students along with other team member of CJP, found that Sam Stafford was busy in saving lives and properties of people in Hatigaon area. Aktar Ali said, “When we were returning from Cotton College, we were unable to find a way to reach Bhetapara which was our last destination of the day. After crossing the railway over bridge near B. Baruah College we found that the road from flyover to Ulubari was blocked. There was no option to proceed through the road. So, we entered Solapara road but that was also closed due to heavy protest.”

Explaining the team’s predicament, he added, “We moved one sub road to another and thus we could reach at Sijubari mazar after about three hours. From there we could not proceed to the road from Sijubari to Ghoramara for which we took the way through Hatigaon to Bhetapara.” Shortly after this Akhtar met Stafford. He says, “When we passed Hatigaon police station a group of teenagers requested us not to proceed further as our car may be burnt by the protestors. Sam Stafford was leading this group of teenagers. We could not ignore them and returned to Sijubari and all other members of our team walked through the road to reach their destination. I was saddened to hear that the same Sam Stafford who saved our life and car the previous day, was brutally killed by Assam police personnel on December 12.”


What happened on December 12, 2019

On December 12, 2019 there was a huge rally at Latashil playground violating the curfew. The protest was led by All Assam Students Union (AASU) where popular artists like Zubin Garg, Manash Rabin and Barsharani Bishaya made an appearance, and thousands of people attended. Sam Stafford was fond of music and fan of Zubin Garg as he was also playing music with Manash Rabin and Nekib, he attended the protest to see Zubin Garg up close. When he was returning from Latashil playground after the day long protes, he became a victim of gun fire by the Assam police. The incident took place near Namghor path of Hatigaon area in the evening of that day.

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Latehar lynching case: Jharkhand HC rejects convict’s bail plea

Vishal Tiwari had moved HC claiming witness testimony was embellished

24 Jan 2020

Latehar Lynching

The Latehar lynching case refers to an incident that took place on March 18, 2016, when 32-year-old cattle trader Mazloom Ansari and his business partner’s 11-year-old son Imtiaz Khan were mercilessly beaten and hanged from a tree by cow vigilantes in Jhabar village. 

8 people, Manoj Kumar Sahu, Mithilesh Prasad Sahu, Pramod Kumar Sahu, Manoj Sao, Awadhesh Sao, Arun Sao, Sehdav Sao and Vishal Tiwari were accused in the case. In December 2018, a Jharkhand court has convicted all 8 accused. But recently Vishal Tiwari moved the Jharkhand High Court seeking suspension of sentence and grant of bail.

Advocate Shadab Ansari who appeared for the victim along with Senior Advocate A Allam explained the arguments presented by Tiwari saying, “Their main argument was that the witness/informant did not name the accused persons in the FIR. They improved their version in court. They were not eye witnesses.”

Meanwhile, the victims’ lawyers argued that all the eye witness had identified the accused persons. Advocate Ansari adds, “They were connected through phone before the incident and after the incident, and their location was shown at the place of occurrence. All these were proved through their call details and cell tower locations. Moreover, the oxen were recovered from their possession on the basis of their confessional statement.”

The court could not be persuaded to grant bail and the application was dismissed as withdrawn.

Latehar lynching case: Jharkhand HC rejects convict’s bail plea

Vishal Tiwari had moved HC claiming witness testimony was embellished

Latehar Lynching

The Latehar lynching case refers to an incident that took place on March 18, 2016, when 32-year-old cattle trader Mazloom Ansari and his business partner’s 11-year-old son Imtiaz Khan were mercilessly beaten and hanged from a tree by cow vigilantes in Jhabar village. 

8 people, Manoj Kumar Sahu, Mithilesh Prasad Sahu, Pramod Kumar Sahu, Manoj Sao, Awadhesh Sao, Arun Sao, Sehdav Sao and Vishal Tiwari were accused in the case. In December 2018, a Jharkhand court has convicted all 8 accused. But recently Vishal Tiwari moved the Jharkhand High Court seeking suspension of sentence and grant of bail.

Advocate Shadab Ansari who appeared for the victim along with Senior Advocate A Allam explained the arguments presented by Tiwari saying, “Their main argument was that the witness/informant did not name the accused persons in the FIR. They improved their version in court. They were not eye witnesses.”

Meanwhile, the victims’ lawyers argued that all the eye witness had identified the accused persons. Advocate Ansari adds, “They were connected through phone before the incident and after the incident, and their location was shown at the place of occurrence. All these were proved through their call details and cell tower locations. Moreover, the oxen were recovered from their possession on the basis of their confessional statement.”

The court could not be persuaded to grant bail and the application was dismissed as withdrawn.

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SC directive on C(A)A raises hope for people of North- East

The SC while deferring hearing in this crucial case stated that it would de-link the petitions filed from parties in the North East

22 Jan 2020

Supreme Court

Guwahati, January 22: The Supreme Court hearing upon 144 petitions including 17 petitions from North- East India on the highly debated Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 has generated some hope for the concerns raised by the North- East. On December 22, 2019, at the first hearing on C(A)A, Attorney General K K Venugopal had stated that as the rules of the Act has not been framed by the Union of India, there was nothing available to direct the Government for withdraw of the same Act. The Chief Justice of India, S A Bobde, presiding over the three member bench, directed the Government of India for filing its affidavit clearing upon the questions raised by various petitioners. The Union of India failed to submit its affidavit within a stipulated time and the hearing which was fixed today continued for 55 minutes.

After hearing all sides the SC directed the Government of India to clarify all concerns that had been raised in the all 144 petitions in the Supreme Court within 4 weeks. After that the Supreme Court would consider further course of action. It also expressed the hope that the Government of India will not proceed to implement the controversial Act until the concerns of the various parties have been resolved.

Meanwhile, the CJI also commented that the hearing of the petitions filed by various parties from Assam and Tripura would be dealt with separately. In Assam the Assam Accord, 1985 must be taken into consideration while implementing this Act. This move by the SC has generated much hope in both Assam and the entire North- East of India.

Eminent lawyer of Guwahati High Court, Kamal Narayan Choudhury, who was representing the case against C(A)A filed by noted literary personality and critic Dr Hiren Gohain, reacting on the statement of honorable Chief Justice said,  “the honorable Chief Justice has assured us that he will hear the petitions filed by various parties from Assam and Tripura. This shows that the honorable SC has understood the ground reality of Assam and North- East India. This has also raised hopes that our opposition to the Act will not be ignored.” Former Chief Minister and congress leader Tarun Gogoi who was appearing in the court to lead his case said, “the honorable Supreme Court has heard all objections regarding C(A)A very attentively. We hope the court will be pleased to repeal the anti-constitutional Act.”

Contrary to this, on the other hand, the opposition leader in Assam and Congress legislature Debabrata Saikia stated, “the Supreme Court gave four weeks’ time to the Government of India to submit its affidavit relating to the various objections raised by various petitioners on C (A) A. The centre has failed to submit that affidavit within the affixed time. It appears that the centre has a very weak defence of its case in the Supreme Court. The AASU President Dipanka Nath said that, “we are thankful to the stand of honorable Supreme Court. It has understood the ground reality of Assam and North- East, which the BJP leaders and the ruling party failed to understand.” Lurinjyoti Gogoi, the General Secretary of AASU of the opinion that, “the Supreme Court is convinced with the especial situation of Assam and North- East. The Assam has an Accord for determination and expulsion of foreigners before March 24, 1971.  Citizenship in Assam is determined under section 6(A) of Citizenship Act, which does not apply to other parts of the country. The honorable SC has not undermined the special position of the state by assuring us that the petitions filed by various parties in Assam and North- East will be heard separately.” AJYCP president, Palash Changmai also said that, “the hearing of Supreme Court has raised the aspirations of the people of Assam and North- East.”     

SC directive on C(A)A raises hope for people of North- East

The SC while deferring hearing in this crucial case stated that it would de-link the petitions filed from parties in the North East

Supreme Court

Guwahati, January 22: The Supreme Court hearing upon 144 petitions including 17 petitions from North- East India on the highly debated Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 has generated some hope for the concerns raised by the North- East. On December 22, 2019, at the first hearing on C(A)A, Attorney General K K Venugopal had stated that as the rules of the Act has not been framed by the Union of India, there was nothing available to direct the Government for withdraw of the same Act. The Chief Justice of India, S A Bobde, presiding over the three member bench, directed the Government of India for filing its affidavit clearing upon the questions raised by various petitioners. The Union of India failed to submit its affidavit within a stipulated time and the hearing which was fixed today continued for 55 minutes.

After hearing all sides the SC directed the Government of India to clarify all concerns that had been raised in the all 144 petitions in the Supreme Court within 4 weeks. After that the Supreme Court would consider further course of action. It also expressed the hope that the Government of India will not proceed to implement the controversial Act until the concerns of the various parties have been resolved.

Meanwhile, the CJI also commented that the hearing of the petitions filed by various parties from Assam and Tripura would be dealt with separately. In Assam the Assam Accord, 1985 must be taken into consideration while implementing this Act. This move by the SC has generated much hope in both Assam and the entire North- East of India.

Eminent lawyer of Guwahati High Court, Kamal Narayan Choudhury, who was representing the case against C(A)A filed by noted literary personality and critic Dr Hiren Gohain, reacting on the statement of honorable Chief Justice said,  “the honorable Chief Justice has assured us that he will hear the petitions filed by various parties from Assam and Tripura. This shows that the honorable SC has understood the ground reality of Assam and North- East India. This has also raised hopes that our opposition to the Act will not be ignored.” Former Chief Minister and congress leader Tarun Gogoi who was appearing in the court to lead his case said, “the honorable Supreme Court has heard all objections regarding C(A)A very attentively. We hope the court will be pleased to repeal the anti-constitutional Act.”

Contrary to this, on the other hand, the opposition leader in Assam and Congress legislature Debabrata Saikia stated, “the Supreme Court gave four weeks’ time to the Government of India to submit its affidavit relating to the various objections raised by various petitioners on C (A) A. The centre has failed to submit that affidavit within the affixed time. It appears that the centre has a very weak defence of its case in the Supreme Court. The AASU President Dipanka Nath said that, “we are thankful to the stand of honorable Supreme Court. It has understood the ground reality of Assam and North- East, which the BJP leaders and the ruling party failed to understand.” Lurinjyoti Gogoi, the General Secretary of AASU of the opinion that, “the Supreme Court is convinced with the especial situation of Assam and North- East. The Assam has an Accord for determination and expulsion of foreigners before March 24, 1971.  Citizenship in Assam is determined under section 6(A) of Citizenship Act, which does not apply to other parts of the country. The honorable SC has not undermined the special position of the state by assuring us that the petitions filed by various parties in Assam and North- East will be heard separately.” AJYCP president, Palash Changmai also said that, “the hearing of Supreme Court has raised the aspirations of the people of Assam and North- East.”     

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SC refuses to stay CAA, NPR

Apex court grants center 4 weeks to respond, even as process to update NPR is all set to begin as scheduled.

22 Jan 2020

supreme court

The Supreme Court has, for now, refused to stay the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as it hears close to 140 petitions against the legislation that is seen as discriminatory and unconstitutional by secular and democratic forces across the country. Some parties also challenged the National Population Register (NPR), given how it is intertwined with CAA on account of fundamental questions about the concept of citizenship being at the heart of both, and its adverse impact on minorities not covered under CAA.

A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice Abdul Nazeer and Justice Sanjiv Khanna was hearing a batch of petitions against the CAA on Wednesday. Some parties sought temporary postponement of the implementation of the legislation during the pendency of the hearings.

Senior advocate AM Singhvi proposed the formation of a Constitution Bench to hear the petitions, and idea also supported by Kapil Sibal who was also appearing for a petitioner. Sibal also prayed that the process of updating the NPR that begins in April be stayed for three months, a demand also supported by another senior advocate KV Vishwanath. But the court did not grant any such relief.

This means, that the process of updating of the National Population Register will begin as scheduled from April 1. This is what several civil society groups including Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) have been raising concerns about, given how the CAA and NPR are virtually inextricable. While the CAA fundamentally alters the idea of citizenship by linking it to religion, the NPR places a greater burden of proof of citizenship on unlettered and marginalized sections of society, many of whom practice faiths that are not covered by the CAA, thereby leaving them vulnerable as they do not have the CAA to fall back upon in case their citizenship is questioned.

CJP secreatry Teesta Setalvad who has been travelling across India to generate awareness about the fundamental flaws in the CAA says, "For over a month since an amendment to the Citizenship Act was hurriedly passed in Parliament, spontaneous protests have erupted across India because these fundamental changes to the law have been correctly seen to be not just plain discriminatory but at serious odds with the fundamentals of equality and non discrimination which are core to Indian nationhood and citizenship." 

Explaining how CAA and NPR would deal twin body-blows to the ideas of secularism, democracy, citizenship and even nationhood, Setalvad says, "CAA 2019 came on the back of an executive decision to club the 2020 census procedure with an NPR that for the first time has citizenship related questions (birth place and date of parents) etc. There is a fear of disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of Indians if documents are held to be the test of citizenship. Much hope was vested in the SC hearings today.

Unfortunately by giving the government time, by shifting the hearings to more than a month and refusing to stay the application of the new law, the Court has disappointed millions. Indians will have to keep the movement alive in creative ways.” https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

The court also decided to hear petitions from Assam and Tripura separately. On December 18, the SC had issued notice to the center on 60 anti-CAA petitions that had been filed till then. Now, 80 more petitions have been filed since then and the center sought time to respond to them.

Accordingly, the CJI directed that notice be issued on all matters and gave the center four weeks to reply. According to Live Law, the court said, “After 4 weeks we will list it for orders. Give us a list of all the categories of matters. Small matters we can hear in the chamber”.

 

SC refuses to stay CAA, NPR

Apex court grants center 4 weeks to respond, even as process to update NPR is all set to begin as scheduled.

supreme court

The Supreme Court has, for now, refused to stay the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as it hears close to 140 petitions against the legislation that is seen as discriminatory and unconstitutional by secular and democratic forces across the country. Some parties also challenged the National Population Register (NPR), given how it is intertwined with CAA on account of fundamental questions about the concept of citizenship being at the heart of both, and its adverse impact on minorities not covered under CAA.

A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice Abdul Nazeer and Justice Sanjiv Khanna was hearing a batch of petitions against the CAA on Wednesday. Some parties sought temporary postponement of the implementation of the legislation during the pendency of the hearings.

Senior advocate AM Singhvi proposed the formation of a Constitution Bench to hear the petitions, and idea also supported by Kapil Sibal who was also appearing for a petitioner. Sibal also prayed that the process of updating the NPR that begins in April be stayed for three months, a demand also supported by another senior advocate KV Vishwanath. But the court did not grant any such relief.

This means, that the process of updating of the National Population Register will begin as scheduled from April 1. This is what several civil society groups including Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) have been raising concerns about, given how the CAA and NPR are virtually inextricable. While the CAA fundamentally alters the idea of citizenship by linking it to religion, the NPR places a greater burden of proof of citizenship on unlettered and marginalized sections of society, many of whom practice faiths that are not covered by the CAA, thereby leaving them vulnerable as they do not have the CAA to fall back upon in case their citizenship is questioned.

CJP secreatry Teesta Setalvad who has been travelling across India to generate awareness about the fundamental flaws in the CAA says, "For over a month since an amendment to the Citizenship Act was hurriedly passed in Parliament, spontaneous protests have erupted across India because these fundamental changes to the law have been correctly seen to be not just plain discriminatory but at serious odds with the fundamentals of equality and non discrimination which are core to Indian nationhood and citizenship." 

Explaining how CAA and NPR would deal twin body-blows to the ideas of secularism, democracy, citizenship and even nationhood, Setalvad says, "CAA 2019 came on the back of an executive decision to club the 2020 census procedure with an NPR that for the first time has citizenship related questions (birth place and date of parents) etc. There is a fear of disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of Indians if documents are held to be the test of citizenship. Much hope was vested in the SC hearings today.

Unfortunately by giving the government time, by shifting the hearings to more than a month and refusing to stay the application of the new law, the Court has disappointed millions. Indians will have to keep the movement alive in creative ways.” https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

The court also decided to hear petitions from Assam and Tripura separately. On December 18, the SC had issued notice to the center on 60 anti-CAA petitions that had been filed till then. Now, 80 more petitions have been filed since then and the center sought time to respond to them.

Accordingly, the CJI directed that notice be issued on all matters and gave the center four weeks to reply. According to Live Law, the court said, “After 4 weeks we will list it for orders. Give us a list of all the categories of matters. Small matters we can hear in the chamber”.

 

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Azaadi for Azad! Bhim Army chief allowed in Delhi for medical, elections purpose

The court modified his bail order on basis of an application where he called the restrictions on him ‘undemocratic’

22 Jan 2020

Azad

A Delhi court modified the conditions in the January 16 dated bail order allowing Bhim Army Chandrashekhar Azad to enter the national capital for medical and election purposes by informing the police about his schedule prior to his visit.

Chandrashekhar Azad was arrested under charges of allegedly inciting violence during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Jama Masjid. He had been in custody for 25 days and had initially even been denied proper medical attention, following which he filed for a bail application.

Though the court had rebuked the police and established that the police couldn’t collect any substantial evidence against Azad, it had placed a one-month ban on Azad and restricted him from entering Delhi and asked him to appear before a police station in his native of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh every Saturday for a month.

However, at the time of granting bail, the court had remarked that Azad could always use his liberty to seek modification of bail conditions imposed on him by furnishing a Delhi address.

He then contended the order and filed an application on January 18 saying that he wasn’t a criminal and imposing such restrictions on him was undemocratic. The application further stated that since Azad has a local residence in Delhi and being an activist, such restrictions imposed on him, affects his fundamental rights, reported India Legal.

“Chandrashekhar Azad is a leader of the oppressed and depressed sections of society, including minorities and was working for their social and political awareness,” the plea said, adding that he holds weekly meetings of the society ‘Bhim Army Ekta Mission’, of which he is the founder, at his local address in Delhi,” says the plea filed by advocates Mehmood Pracha and O P Bharti.

The application further said that Azad travels throughout the country for the cause he’s working for, hence it would be difficult for him to personally appear before the SHO to report his presence.

The Additional Sessions judge Kamini Lau has asked the Delhi police to verify from the Election Commission of India whether the address he has provided is of an office or a political party and submit a report by January 21st.

Live Law reported that the judge’s order said, “In democracy when election is the biggest celebration, which should have maximum participation, it is fair that he should be allowed to participate.”

The judge has also asked him to reside at the address provided by Azad whenever he is in Delhi, mark his attendance before the Delhi DCP if he happens to be in the capital on Saturday and inform the DCP telephonically about his location if he isn’t in Delhi or Saharanpur.

The judge also discared the prosecution’s submission against him in charges of hate speech as there was no mention of the same in the FIR. The court also recorded in its order that there was no material to suggest that he had indulged in anything that was against law and order, public order or national security.

Related:

"As if Jama Masjid is in Pak", Delhi Judge rebukes cops in Bhim Army Case

Provide medical assistance to Bhim Army chief, Chandrashekhar Azad: Delhi Court to Jail authorities

Azaadi for Azad! Bhim Army chief allowed in Delhi for medical, elections purpose

The court modified his bail order on basis of an application where he called the restrictions on him ‘undemocratic’

Azad

A Delhi court modified the conditions in the January 16 dated bail order allowing Bhim Army Chandrashekhar Azad to enter the national capital for medical and election purposes by informing the police about his schedule prior to his visit.

Chandrashekhar Azad was arrested under charges of allegedly inciting violence during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Jama Masjid. He had been in custody for 25 days and had initially even been denied proper medical attention, following which he filed for a bail application.

Though the court had rebuked the police and established that the police couldn’t collect any substantial evidence against Azad, it had placed a one-month ban on Azad and restricted him from entering Delhi and asked him to appear before a police station in his native of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh every Saturday for a month.

However, at the time of granting bail, the court had remarked that Azad could always use his liberty to seek modification of bail conditions imposed on him by furnishing a Delhi address.

He then contended the order and filed an application on January 18 saying that he wasn’t a criminal and imposing such restrictions on him was undemocratic. The application further stated that since Azad has a local residence in Delhi and being an activist, such restrictions imposed on him, affects his fundamental rights, reported India Legal.

“Chandrashekhar Azad is a leader of the oppressed and depressed sections of society, including minorities and was working for their social and political awareness,” the plea said, adding that he holds weekly meetings of the society ‘Bhim Army Ekta Mission’, of which he is the founder, at his local address in Delhi,” says the plea filed by advocates Mehmood Pracha and O P Bharti.

The application further said that Azad travels throughout the country for the cause he’s working for, hence it would be difficult for him to personally appear before the SHO to report his presence.

The Additional Sessions judge Kamini Lau has asked the Delhi police to verify from the Election Commission of India whether the address he has provided is of an office or a political party and submit a report by January 21st.

Live Law reported that the judge’s order said, “In democracy when election is the biggest celebration, which should have maximum participation, it is fair that he should be allowed to participate.”

The judge has also asked him to reside at the address provided by Azad whenever he is in Delhi, mark his attendance before the Delhi DCP if he happens to be in the capital on Saturday and inform the DCP telephonically about his location if he isn’t in Delhi or Saharanpur.

The judge also discared the prosecution’s submission against him in charges of hate speech as there was no mention of the same in the FIR. The court also recorded in its order that there was no material to suggest that he had indulged in anything that was against law and order, public order or national security.

Related:

"As if Jama Masjid is in Pak", Delhi Judge rebukes cops in Bhim Army Case

Provide medical assistance to Bhim Army chief, Chandrashekhar Azad: Delhi Court to Jail authorities

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People’s Tribunal finds “gross violations of human rights norms” in Mangalore

Tribunal report indicts police for harm caused to civilians and innocent persons during anti-CAA protests on December 19

21 Jan 2020

Mangalore firing

A People’s Tribunal comprising Justice (Retd.) V. Gopala Gowda, Mr. B T Venkatesh and Sugata Srinivasaraju was formed to conduct public hearings to hear from all the persons affected by the Police firing on 19th December, 2019 at Mangalore and to report on the observations made by it.

This was a civil society initiative to investigate various aspects of the violence that transpired on that day, including the build up to it. The tribunal heard witness testimonies to ascertain the following aspects of the situation:

  • Imposition of prohibitory orders and communication thereof

  • Lathi-charge and firing

  • Non-compliance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

  • Use of communal slurs etc.

The tribunal found that, “imposition of prohibitory orders under section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure were unwarranted.” Also, “While the Commissioner of Police of Mangalore, Dr. P.S. Harsha, imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC on the evening of 18th December 2019, the order was not effectively communicated to the residents of the area. After the imposition of the prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC, permission that was earlier granted was subsequently revoked/cancelled but the same was not effectively communicated.”

The report by the tribunal also states, “As a result of a complete breakdown of communication, civilians who had no connection with the protest were subjected to indiscriminate lathicharge and Police firing.” It goes on to say, “The actions of the Police personnel present on 19th December seem to contravene significant limitations on Police powers, as provided for in the Karnataka Police Manual.”

But the most damning indictment of the police’s communal tilt comes from the report where it says, “Apart from failing to issue warnings to the public before the lathicharge and Police firing commenced, victims and other eyewitness have alleged that the Police authorities present in the area used communal slurs and used deplorable language in order to provoke the protestors.”

The report concludes by saying, “From the statements it is observed that greater harm was caused to civilians and innocent persons who had nothing to do with the protests, if any. Their livelihood has been severely affected. More specifically, two lives have been lost.”

The entire report may be read here: 

 

People’s Tribunal finds “gross violations of human rights norms” in Mangalore

Tribunal report indicts police for harm caused to civilians and innocent persons during anti-CAA protests on December 19

Mangalore firing

A People’s Tribunal comprising Justice (Retd.) V. Gopala Gowda, Mr. B T Venkatesh and Sugata Srinivasaraju was formed to conduct public hearings to hear from all the persons affected by the Police firing on 19th December, 2019 at Mangalore and to report on the observations made by it.

This was a civil society initiative to investigate various aspects of the violence that transpired on that day, including the build up to it. The tribunal heard witness testimonies to ascertain the following aspects of the situation:

  • Imposition of prohibitory orders and communication thereof

  • Lathi-charge and firing

  • Non-compliance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

  • Use of communal slurs etc.

The tribunal found that, “imposition of prohibitory orders under section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure were unwarranted.” Also, “While the Commissioner of Police of Mangalore, Dr. P.S. Harsha, imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC on the evening of 18th December 2019, the order was not effectively communicated to the residents of the area. After the imposition of the prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC, permission that was earlier granted was subsequently revoked/cancelled but the same was not effectively communicated.”

The report by the tribunal also states, “As a result of a complete breakdown of communication, civilians who had no connection with the protest were subjected to indiscriminate lathicharge and Police firing.” It goes on to say, “The actions of the Police personnel present on 19th December seem to contravene significant limitations on Police powers, as provided for in the Karnataka Police Manual.”

But the most damning indictment of the police’s communal tilt comes from the report where it says, “Apart from failing to issue warnings to the public before the lathicharge and Police firing commenced, victims and other eyewitness have alleged that the Police authorities present in the area used communal slurs and used deplorable language in order to provoke the protestors.”

The report concludes by saying, “From the statements it is observed that greater harm was caused to civilians and innocent persons who had nothing to do with the protests, if any. Their livelihood has been severely affected. More specifically, two lives have been lost.”

The entire report may be read here: 

 

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Bihar: 13 minors allegedly charged and imprisoned as adults by police in FIR

The boys were allegedly arrested during the violence in Aurangabad, Bihar on Dec 21 mostly range from the ages of 14 to 17, with the youngest being 12 years old

20 Jan 2020

Bihar Police

The Bihar police have allegedly arrested 13 minors and identified them as “adults” over the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests on December 21, 2019 in the town of Aurangabad, Bihar that had turned violent, reported Firstpost. All the arrested are Muslim youths.

The publication had earlier reported that the police had earlier arrested two youths, Ahmed and Syed from two different families, whose ages were 16 and 12 respectively. In the FIR, their ages were stated to be 28 and 19 respectively. The hearing for their case is scheduled for January 28, 2020 where the Juvenile Justice Board will decide on their age.

Meraj Khan, the lawyer appearing for the minors who are mostly between the ages of 14 and 17, the youngest being 12, said that he would apply for the bail plea after the decision of the Board.

It has been reported that out of the 13 only 1 has been sent to the juvenile home after sustaining serious injuries on his hands due to the lathi charge. The 12 remaining minors have been lodged in an adult prison for the past month, in the company of hardened criminals. He said, “It’s a straightforward case. We have their birth certificates, documents and we have presented them before the Juvenile Justice Board on January 16. On January 28, the Board will declare them juveniles.”

About the police wrongly charging the minors as adults, Khan said, “It has been done intentionally. There is no juvenile home in Aurangabad. It is under construction. The closest one is about 60 kilometers from here in Gaya. If the police had written their accurate ages, they would have had to hire a separate vehicle and travel to Gaya. The police did this to avoid extra effort.”

Currently, the probation officer is preparing a Social Investigation Report of the kids said Khan. “It includes their details, the families they come from, and whether they have had a criminal past. That would be considered when we argue for their bail. I hope the report is ready in time for the hearing and they understand the gravity of minors being in adult prisons.”

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had called for a bandh in Bihar on December 21, 2019 to protest against the CAA. At the time, Additional Director General, Bihar Police, Jitendra Kumar had told reporters that around 1,550 preventive arrests had been made in connection with the bandh.

Firstpost reported that the Aurangabad police blamed local councilor Sikandar Hayat for the violence that erupted in the FIR. The document noted that the bandh called by the RJD ended at around 12.15 p.m. when a mob of 200 people came to the site of the protest. The FIR read, “The mob started beating up shopkeepers, asking them to shut shop. When police tried to intervene, the mob chanted slogans against them and started throwing bricks and stones. A brick landed on a policeman’s head, and he got seriously injured. Hayat was egging the protesters on.”

However, eyewitnesses stated otherwise. They said that the violence broke out as a result of the scuffle that took place between people who wanted to enforce the bandh and people affiliated to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who were trying to get it stopped.

fact-finding team that visited Aurangabad, Bihar where violence erupted, on their investigation found that the police ransacked homes, damaged private vehicles and assaulted men, women and children inside their homes.

The police were also caught on camera, picking up a minor and vandalising public property. Mohammad Enamul Rab, whose relatives were picked up from his home, included his younger brother Saddam (12), uncle Mukhtar and brother-in-law Rizwan and another brother Imran.

He told Firstpost, “The police raided our home, and accused them of hiding here. Ab ghar ka aadmi ghar pe nahi rahega toh kaha rahega? My brother-in-law had come to visit with my sister. There was no lady constable, yet the men in uniform dragged my mother and sister up to the road. The police said they are following orders, and asked us to shut up, while they continued to vandalise our home.”

Saddam, Rab’s brother, who is 12, as per his age recorded in his school certificate has been booked for launching a “life threatening attack on the police.” Rab is worried that his brother has already spent a month in prison with seasoned criminals. He said, “When police is patrolling the areas, parents tell their kids to get inside the homes. Now we don’t even feel safe in our own homes. They are supposed to protect us. And people are fearful of them. I hope my brother comes out unscathed but the administration should understand that a 12-year-old should not be kept with criminals.”

However, it isn’t just Bihar where minors have been detained and assaulted during the anti-CAA agitation. The Delhi Police too had detained 18 minors at the Daryaganj Police Station. The minors had visible head injuries and were seen in clothes soaked in blood. They had been stripped below the waist and were beaten up, with the police shouting communal slurs at them all the while during the assault. Their medical reports too clearly stated that their injuries were sustained due to lathi charge and being beaten up in police custody.

The UP police was also accused of allegedly torturing Maulana Asad Raza Hussaini and his students from the Saadat hostel and orphanage in Muzaffarnagar. It was alleged that police sexually tortured many of the minor detainees in custody after which some of the boys were admitted to the hospital with cases of rectal bleeding. The boys ranged from the ages of 14 to 21 and were reportedly abused through the night. A hostel resident told Newsclick, “While beating us, they abusively told us ‘this is the azadi (freedom) that you wanted’. Some of them asked us to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Har Har Mahadev’. Meanwhile, one student fell unconscious.”

The police that has been used as an agent by the State for spreading the fear of the regime in its people, has been allowed to use crowd-control measures like mass detentions, lathi charge, tear gas, bullets and stun grenades without the fear of being questioned. It is evident that most of those deceased in the firings by the police to quell the CAA protests have been from the Muslim community.

Is the state now sponsoring the retributive brand of justice to get its way and force people into toeing the line by giving a freehand to violence?

Related:

Did UP police sexually torture minors in custody?
Delhi Police detains 18 minors in Daryaganj during anti-CAA protests

Fact-finding report reveals police brutality at Aurangabad and Phulwari Sharif
UP sees the worst of Police Brutality
‘Bloody Sunday 2019’- PUDR releases report on Jamia police brutalities
Undeterred, AMUSU releases Ground Report detailing police brutality on students
Disproportionate and extraordinary use of force by police at AMU: Fact-finding team

 

Bihar: 13 minors allegedly charged and imprisoned as adults by police in FIR

The boys were allegedly arrested during the violence in Aurangabad, Bihar on Dec 21 mostly range from the ages of 14 to 17, with the youngest being 12 years old

Bihar Police

The Bihar police have allegedly arrested 13 minors and identified them as “adults” over the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests on December 21, 2019 in the town of Aurangabad, Bihar that had turned violent, reported Firstpost. All the arrested are Muslim youths.

The publication had earlier reported that the police had earlier arrested two youths, Ahmed and Syed from two different families, whose ages were 16 and 12 respectively. In the FIR, their ages were stated to be 28 and 19 respectively. The hearing for their case is scheduled for January 28, 2020 where the Juvenile Justice Board will decide on their age.

Meraj Khan, the lawyer appearing for the minors who are mostly between the ages of 14 and 17, the youngest being 12, said that he would apply for the bail plea after the decision of the Board.

It has been reported that out of the 13 only 1 has been sent to the juvenile home after sustaining serious injuries on his hands due to the lathi charge. The 12 remaining minors have been lodged in an adult prison for the past month, in the company of hardened criminals. He said, “It’s a straightforward case. We have their birth certificates, documents and we have presented them before the Juvenile Justice Board on January 16. On January 28, the Board will declare them juveniles.”

About the police wrongly charging the minors as adults, Khan said, “It has been done intentionally. There is no juvenile home in Aurangabad. It is under construction. The closest one is about 60 kilometers from here in Gaya. If the police had written their accurate ages, they would have had to hire a separate vehicle and travel to Gaya. The police did this to avoid extra effort.”

Currently, the probation officer is preparing a Social Investigation Report of the kids said Khan. “It includes their details, the families they come from, and whether they have had a criminal past. That would be considered when we argue for their bail. I hope the report is ready in time for the hearing and they understand the gravity of minors being in adult prisons.”

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had called for a bandh in Bihar on December 21, 2019 to protest against the CAA. At the time, Additional Director General, Bihar Police, Jitendra Kumar had told reporters that around 1,550 preventive arrests had been made in connection with the bandh.

Firstpost reported that the Aurangabad police blamed local councilor Sikandar Hayat for the violence that erupted in the FIR. The document noted that the bandh called by the RJD ended at around 12.15 p.m. when a mob of 200 people came to the site of the protest. The FIR read, “The mob started beating up shopkeepers, asking them to shut shop. When police tried to intervene, the mob chanted slogans against them and started throwing bricks and stones. A brick landed on a policeman’s head, and he got seriously injured. Hayat was egging the protesters on.”

However, eyewitnesses stated otherwise. They said that the violence broke out as a result of the scuffle that took place between people who wanted to enforce the bandh and people affiliated to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who were trying to get it stopped.

fact-finding team that visited Aurangabad, Bihar where violence erupted, on their investigation found that the police ransacked homes, damaged private vehicles and assaulted men, women and children inside their homes.

The police were also caught on camera, picking up a minor and vandalising public property. Mohammad Enamul Rab, whose relatives were picked up from his home, included his younger brother Saddam (12), uncle Mukhtar and brother-in-law Rizwan and another brother Imran.

He told Firstpost, “The police raided our home, and accused them of hiding here. Ab ghar ka aadmi ghar pe nahi rahega toh kaha rahega? My brother-in-law had come to visit with my sister. There was no lady constable, yet the men in uniform dragged my mother and sister up to the road. The police said they are following orders, and asked us to shut up, while they continued to vandalise our home.”

Saddam, Rab’s brother, who is 12, as per his age recorded in his school certificate has been booked for launching a “life threatening attack on the police.” Rab is worried that his brother has already spent a month in prison with seasoned criminals. He said, “When police is patrolling the areas, parents tell their kids to get inside the homes. Now we don’t even feel safe in our own homes. They are supposed to protect us. And people are fearful of them. I hope my brother comes out unscathed but the administration should understand that a 12-year-old should not be kept with criminals.”

However, it isn’t just Bihar where minors have been detained and assaulted during the anti-CAA agitation. The Delhi Police too had detained 18 minors at the Daryaganj Police Station. The minors had visible head injuries and were seen in clothes soaked in blood. They had been stripped below the waist and were beaten up, with the police shouting communal slurs at them all the while during the assault. Their medical reports too clearly stated that their injuries were sustained due to lathi charge and being beaten up in police custody.

The UP police was also accused of allegedly torturing Maulana Asad Raza Hussaini and his students from the Saadat hostel and orphanage in Muzaffarnagar. It was alleged that police sexually tortured many of the minor detainees in custody after which some of the boys were admitted to the hospital with cases of rectal bleeding. The boys ranged from the ages of 14 to 21 and were reportedly abused through the night. A hostel resident told Newsclick, “While beating us, they abusively told us ‘this is the azadi (freedom) that you wanted’. Some of them asked us to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Har Har Mahadev’. Meanwhile, one student fell unconscious.”

The police that has been used as an agent by the State for spreading the fear of the regime in its people, has been allowed to use crowd-control measures like mass detentions, lathi charge, tear gas, bullets and stun grenades without the fear of being questioned. It is evident that most of those deceased in the firings by the police to quell the CAA protests have been from the Muslim community.

Is the state now sponsoring the retributive brand of justice to get its way and force people into toeing the line by giving a freehand to violence?

Related:

Did UP police sexually torture minors in custody?
Delhi Police detains 18 minors in Daryaganj during anti-CAA protests

Fact-finding report reveals police brutality at Aurangabad and Phulwari Sharif
UP sees the worst of Police Brutality
‘Bloody Sunday 2019’- PUDR releases report on Jamia police brutalities
Undeterred, AMUSU releases Ground Report detailing police brutality on students
Disproportionate and extraordinary use of force by police at AMU: Fact-finding team

 

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