Representative image of arrest of an accused.

Ghazanfar Abbas | Caravan News

NEW DELHI / LUCKNOW – Framing of Muslims and Dalits under the National Security Act (NSA) since BJP came to power in Uttar Pradesh in March 2017 has met severe criticism from civil rights activists. They have put hard questions before state machinery led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Speaking to Caravan Daily, the activists alleged that NSA is being used as a “political tool” to turn the state into a “police state” and termed the arrest of several people under NSA as “Extra Judicial Detention”. Saying that “executive authorities of the state are challenging the Supreme Courts directions”, they urged that the Apex court must take “suo moto cognisance of the rampant misuse of NSA” in the BJP-ruled state.

Supreme Court Directions Are Being Violated

Rajeev Yadav from Rihai Manch, an eminent civil rights group based in Lucknow, said that through NSA vulnerable sections of the society such as Muslims and Dalits have been targeted despite the accused persons were granted bail by the competent courts.

“It is against Supreme Court directions that if bail has been granted to the accused person, NSA can’t be imposed on him. It means court is giving bail but  police is saying the person is a threat to national security. So is it Democratic Indian state or Police state?” asked Yadav.

Questioning the stretching of such cases for a year, he said, “On upcoming 2nd November, Chandrashekhar Azad’s (Bhim Army Chief) arrest under NSA will complete one year and some other cases too.”

Chandrashekhar was first arrested for his alleged involvement in Saharanpur violence on June 8, 2017. But NSA was imposed by state police on November 2, 2017 even after the Allahabad High Court granted him bail.

Yadav also cited the Kasganj violence case where three real Muslim brothers named Salim Javed, Naseem Javed and Wasim Javed were arrested under NSA after session court granted them bail. A recent report of The Wire says that at least 160 persons, a good number of them Muslims, are behind bars facing NSA.

BJP’s Crony, Discriminatory Policy for Communal Polarisation

Rajeev Yadav told that in none of the cases where NSA was imposed against Muslims and Dalits, charges have been revoked since 2017 but Hindus and Upper caste people have got relief. He also said that NSA has been mostly imposed in small incidents barring a few.

“In Shabbirpur violence in Saharanpur (September 2013), NSA was imposed on several Dalits including Chandrshekhar and three Rajputs too but NSA was revoked from Rajputs only,” Yadav said.

Adding to this he said that in previous Samajwadi Party’s government, BJP MLAs Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana faced NSA for hate speech but Yogi government revoked it.

“NSA is part of crony policy of BJP government. This is an exercise of communal polarization by creating a perception among Hindus that Muslims and Dalits are threat to national security.”

“If national security is so much under threat then NSA should be imposed against Yogi Adityanath himself against whom several serious cases including, hate speech, riots, murder are registered,” Rajeev said.

NSA and Encounters Are Connected

Human rights activist Nadeem Khan from United Against Hate (UAH) campaign said that NSA is connected with the large number of encounters carried out in UP over last one and half year of BJP government in the state.

“Mostly, NSA was imposed by state police just after the arrested person got bail from the court and deposit of bail bond. Means this is extra judicial detention. It also shows that how executive authorities of UP are challenging Supreme Court. So far 197 people have been put behind bars under NSA in this period and most of them are Muslim, Yadav and Dalit that shows a political discrimination,” Nadeem Khan said.

Khan said that most of the activists who are facing NSA are those who can challenge their politics and question over current police system.

“NSA is being used as political tool to suppress the voice of opposition and action-oriented people. UP state has been converted into a police state now,” he added.

According to the figures given by the State of UP to the NHRC, in the encounters, 45 persons have died between 1st January 2017 to 31st March 2018. However, several civil rights groups claim that more than 1400 encounters have taken place in the period and at least 55 people, described as fugitive criminals, were killed — families of several of them have said they were staged shootouts.

Sagh Parivar Agenda To Create Hatred

Navaid Hamid, national president of All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat said that growing number of detentions under NSA is “misuse” of the law to create hatred amongst various communities by BJP and RSS.

“The whole agenda of the state government is to create an atmosphere of animosity, hatred amongst communities within the state. It is the part of larger conspiracy of Sangh Parivar to demonise the Muslim community and target all others including Dalits who have awakened and are resisting the policy of suppression,” he said.

He added that BJP also wants to divert the attentions of the voters from the election promises in which it has failed.

SC Should Take Suo Moto Cognizance Of Misuse of NSA

“The state administration is targeting these acquitted or freed people with draconian laws with a biased intention. This is nothing but travesty of justice and rape of the laws. It is high time for the higher judiciary including the Supreme Court to take suo moto cognizance of the rampant misuse of NSA by the state government and remind the state administration that a person freed on bail or acquitted by the lower courts, it would be inappropriate to arrest the person under the draconian NSA in the name of maintaining law & order,” Hamid urged.


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