Notices issued to a number of people in Varanasi; in Sitapur, National Alliance for People’s Movement convenor Richa Sing put under house arrest
Waquar Hasan | Clarion India
NEW DELHI – Several activists in Uttar Pradesh have been booked under the stringent Control of Goondas Act by the state government for participating in protests against controversial farm laws.
Ramjanam, one such activist from Varanasi, told Clarion India over the phone that he received the notice dated December 29 under the Act on January 5 when he returned from the protest sites of Delhi borders.
Up Control of Goondas Act is a special provision for the control and suppression of Goondas with a view to the maintenance of public order.
Ramjanam, who is a leader of Sawraj Abhiyan, said that the administration has used his previous activism during anti-CAA protests as an excuse to invoke Goondas Act against him.
“The charges invoked against me are politically motivated. Here, in UP, we are not free to speak up. The atmosphere of UP is such that we can’t even complain about our sufferings with the administration. This is considered a crime,” said Ramjanam.
The notice that Ramjanam has received accuses him of being habitual offender in committing crime or attempting to commit crime along with a gang. The notice claimed that he is infamous for his dangerous activities which harm people and their properties. There are sufficient evidences that he can be booked under the Goondas Act, the notice reads.
The notice also asked Ramjanam to give written explanation by January 15 as to why he should not be booked under Act.
Apart from Ramjanam, other farmer activists, who have been sent notices under said Act are All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) district secretary Ramjee Singh, Communist Party of India (CPI) district secretary Jaishankar Singh, BHU student Shivraj Yadav, Communist Party of India (Marxist) members Bansraj Patel, Nehaluddin, Mohammad Alam and Shivshankar Lal from Varanasi.
Ramjee Singh said that he received the notice after he organized a protest in support of farmers on January 4 in Varanasi. He along with other farmer activists may challenge these notices in the Allahabad High Court, said Ramjee Singh.
Besides sending notices, the UP government also put some of the activists under house arrest after they participated in the farmer protests. National Convener of NAPM (National Alliance for People’s Movement) Richa Sing said that she was not allowed to leave her home town of Sitapur. She wanted to go to Lucknow but police officers prevented her movement. She, being a diabetic, was not allowed to even go to see her doctor. Instead, the local administration sent a doctor to her house.
“On morning of 7th January when the national call was given for a tractor rally in support of farmers in Sitapur, I came to know that I will not be allowed to move out. When I went to participate in a rally, I was followed by the policemen. From that evening to yesterday (Sunday), I was not allowed to move without providing any legal notice,” she said.