High Court Seeks Reply from UP Govt over Torture of Juveniles During Anti-CAA Protests

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UP police baton-charge the anti-CAA protesters in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. — File photo

The petition was filed on the basis of a fact-finding report prepared by Quill Foundation in collaboration with Citizens Against Hate and HAQ-Centre for Child Rights

Clarion India

NEW DELHI — The Allahabad High Court has sought a reply from the Uttar Pradesh government over illegal detention and torture of juveniles during anti-CAA protests in the state in December last year.

The court is hearing a PIL filed by HAQ-Centre for Child Rights alleging that many minors were illegally detained and tortured in UP, particularly in Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Sambhal, and Lucknow, during the CAA-NRC protests.

The petition was filed on the basis of a fact-finding report prepared by Quill Foundation in collaboration with Citizens Against Hate and HAQ-Centre for Child Rights.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Varma, asked the state to file an affidavit detailing the steps taken by it regarding statutory compliances with the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 (JJ Act) in all the districts of the State.

It posted the matter for hearing on December 14.

The report, titled ‘Brutalising Innocence–Detention, Torture and Criminalisation of Minors by UP police to quell anti-CAA protests’, was first released on January 31, 2020. HAQ-Centre for Child Rights, an NGO, was represented by advocates Vrinda Grover, Soutik Banerjee and Tanmay Sadh.

“The perusal of the aforesaid fact-finding reports of the petitioner highlights the actions of the UP police in illegally detaining minors and torturing them is in grave breach of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015; the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment, and the Constitutional rights guaranteed to children under Articles 14, 15, 19 and 21,” read the petition.

In December last year, during protests against CAA and NRC, more than 20 people were killed in the police action and many activists were arrested.

 According to the fact-finding report, 22 minors were detained and tortured in Bijnor and 14 minors in Muzaffarnagar. FIRs were filed against four minors who were released after 12 days of detention.

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