LUCKNOW: A high-level delegation of rights group Rihai Manch took the families of in-jail Muslim laborers to the Barabanki District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police on Monday and demanded revocation of the National Security Act or NSA imposed on the four poor laborers following a minor communal clash in March this year.
In their memorandum to the district authorities, the Rihai Manch delegation, led by its president Adv. Mohammad Shoaib and former IG of Uttar Pradesh and human rights activist S.R. Darapuri, said that NSA runs contrary to justice and law and its invocation for the four poor Muslim laborers was politically-motivated.
While meeting Barabanki DM Udai Bhan Tripathi along with the victim families, the Rihai Manch delegation said that the four Muslims incarcerating in the local jail are street vendors or daily laborers and they can not be a threat to the national security.
“The DM assured that he would consider the issue when the case will be put before him,” said Rajeev Yadav of Rihai Manch who was also part of the delegation.
As Superintendent of Police was not available, the delegation met Additional Superintendent of Police Digambar Kushwaha and told him that there is no danger of spread of fear or hatred in the society from Rizwan @ Chuppi, Zubair, Ateeq and Mumtaz; Rather, the life of their families is indeed under threat if they remain in jail.
“The police officer told us that he would put up the matter before the SP and he assured us to consider the issue sympathetically,” informed Yadav.
The Rihai Manch delegation also had Adv. Randheer Singh Suman, Srijanyogi Adiyog, Anil Yadav, Rabin Verma, Shams Tabrez, Virendra Gupta, Nagendra Yadav, Brijmohan Verma and Sardar Bhupendra Singh.
Among the victim families that were with the delegation included Hafiz Tahir, uncle of Ateeq; Shakila and Jaan Mohammad, mother and father of Rizwan; Alimun and Raja Babu, wife and brother of Mumtaz; and Habib, father of Zubair.
The delegation requested the district authorities for the release of the four Muslim laborers and an end to political use of NSA.
On 14th March 2018, on the occasion of Maha Shiv Ratri, an idol procession was passing through Mahadeva area in the Barabanki district. Hundreds of people were on tractors in the procession. Some of them threw colors on a young Muslim girl who was going on a bike with her brother. When her brother opposed, some members of the procession assaulted the youth. This led to scuffle and clashes between groups of two communities. The situation was immediately controlled by the administration. However, next day, under political pressure, 12 Muslims were picked from different areas, most of them from their homes. On 20th March, when they were getting released on bail, NSA was invoked against four of them and they have since been in the jail.
In the memorandum, the Rihai Manch delegation asked the Barabanki district authorities as to why action was taken on an FIR on a false claim from one side while the main cause of disturbance (throwing colors on the Muslim girl) was ignored by the administration and no FIR was registered. A local Hindu priest had lodged an FIR saying that idols were taken away by a Muslim mob which had attacked the procession. The District authorities themselves trashed the claim about idols as false.
Invocation of NSA Politically-motivated
The delegation said that invocation of NSA against four Muslim laborers was politically-motivated and this was done under the pressure of local MLA Sharad Awasthi, Hindu Yuva Vahini and Hindu Samrajya Parishad.
They said that Hindus and Muslims have been living with harmony in Mahadeva and this is evident from a mosque which is standing very near the temple.
They urged the DM and SP to recommend revocation of NSA from the four Muslim laborers, a high-level probe into the whole issue. “Investigation is necessary to prevent violation of human and democratic rights of a particular community for political purposes.