UP Congress Minority Cell Chief Arrested for 2019 Anti-CAA Protests; Priyanka Slams the Move

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Priyanka Gandhi said this police action is repressive and undemocratic.– File photo

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday slammed the Uttar Pradesh govt over the arrest of party’s minority cell chairman Shahnawaz Alam, saying the police action is undemocratic and repressive.

LUCKNOW — Shahnawaz Alam, the chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Congress minority cell, was arrested by the Lucknow police, late on Monday night, for his alleged involvement in the anti-CAA violence which took place in December last year.

A CCTV video circulated by UP Congress leaders shows cops taking away Alam from outside an apartment, close to the chief minister’s residence, in a police vehicle.

A statement issued after midnight by DCP central, Dinesh Singh, said that Shahnawaz was arrested for his involvement in the anti-CAA protest which took place on December 19, 2019 in Lucknow. He has been arrested after the police gathered sufficient evidence against him.

The police said, Shahnawaz’s mobile locations have confirmed his presence in places where the violent protests took place.

Meanwhile, UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu and state Congress legislative party leader Aradhana Misra, along with the party workers, reached the Hazratganj police station to inquire about the action against the party leader and two other people.

The Congress leaders also had an argument with senior cops at the police station.

As some party workers started slogan shouting inside the police station, the cops resorted to lathi-charge to disperse them. Shivam Tripathi, youth wing general secretary, was injured in the police action while another party worker Tariq suffered a fracture.

UP Congress media convener Lalan Kumar said, “Shahnawaz, his driver and a party worker were picked up by the police on Monday late evening. However, the police arrested Shahnawaz and released the other two people. The cops have also seized a vehicle. This government is behaving like an autocrat and is unnecessarily targeting Congress leaders and workers who are exposing the wrong doings of the state government.”

He said that the government had earlier booked our state president Ajay Kumar Lallu under false charges and now other leaders are being targeted.

“However, our voice cannot be muzzled and we will continue to fight for the rights of migrant workers and the deprived,” he added.

Shahnawaz Alam, a native of Ballia district, was affiliated to Rihai Manch, a human rights’ group, before he joined the Congress in 2018.

Said to be a member of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s core team, Shahnawaz was appointed as the chairman of the Congress minority cell in January this year. The appointment caused considerable heartburn among party leaders who felt he was relatively new in the party and should not have been given the responsibility.

Priyanka slams UP govt

Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday slammed the Uttar Pradesh government over the arrest of party’s minority cell chairman Shahnawaz Alam, saying the police action is undemocratic and repressive.

 

“Congress leaders and activists are committed to raise their voice on public issues. The BJP government can use the Police as an instrument to suppress the voices of other parties, but not our party (Congress). Look, how the UP Police arrested the Chairman of our Minority cell in the darkness of the night,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a series of tweets in Hindi.

“First, our state president (Ajay Kumar Lallu) was kept in jail for four weeks on fake charges. Now this police action is repressive and undemocratic. Congress workers are not afraid of police and fake cases,” she said in another tweet.

— IANS

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