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Bulldozer out in Prayagraj: Student Leader Afreen Fatima’s Razed House Declared ‘Illegal’

The police accused Afreen Fatima’s father of being the “mastermind” of the protests that rocked the city on Friday while the family vehemently denied the allegation

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – The civic administration in Prayagraj, aided by anti-riot police, rolled in a bulldozer and demolished the house of a student leader, Afreen Fatima, on Sunday, Uttar Pradesh.

The police presence swelled around the house at around 11 am and within a couple of hours earthmovers tore in the walls of the building and brought it down.

The police accused Fatima’s father of being the “mastermind” of the protests that rocked the city on Friday against BJP leaders who made derogatory comments against Prophet Muhammad. However, the family vehemently denied the allegations made by the police.

The administration issued a notice claiming that the structure is illegal justifying the act of demolition.

A local who was present at the scene described it as “scary” as he witnessed the demolition led by the police and administration. “There is a huge police and media presence, the locals are also present but no one is uttering a word against this,” he said.

However, activists and lawyers close to the family question the administration’s version. Fawaz Shaheen, a legal and student activist said in a Twitter thread that the notice has mistakes as it has been issued in the name of Javed Mohammad while his wife owns the property.

The demolition videos sparked outrage on social media with netizens writing in support of Afreen Fatima.

Jayant Choudhary, a Rajya Sabha member, and president RLD, slammed the bulldozing of homes as he said, “bulldozer is not enforcing the rule of law, rather it has become a symbol of state-sponsored Gundaism.”

Reports say the family’s lawyers are planning to petition before Allahabad High Court against the demolition.

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