Waquar Hasan | Clarion India
NEW DELHI – A court in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut on Monday ordered externment of journalist Zakir Ali Tiyagi from the district for three months citing a cow slaughter case filed against him in 2020.
Talking to Clarion India, Zakir claimed he was being targeted due to his journalistic work and the police have not presented any evidence against him. He said he will challenge the order in the higher court.
In August 2020, Zakir was arrested and released the next month. He works for The Millat Times and also writes for The NewsClick.
Judge Amit Kumar said the punitive action was initiated against Zakir under the Goonda Act on the recommendation of the Meerut Police. “The police report on Zakir describes him as a vicious criminal,” the judge said. “There is a terror of him among people. No one is ready to testify against him. His movement in society poses danger to the interests of people. Hence, action should be taken against him under the Goonda Act,” the judge cited the police report as saying.
Kumar also said that the accused has not presented any affidavit challenging the action against him under the Goonda Act and accepted the allegations levelled by the police.
Testimonies presented by the police report show that the accused has been booked under serious Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections. “The freedom of such a person creates a serious threat to society and law and order. It is not appropriate for the accused to be in the district. It’s better to extern him from the district. Therefore, there is sufficient ground to invoke the Goonda Act against him,” Kumar ruled.
The court rejected Zakir’s defense that he does not reside in the village and seldom visits it saying that the accused has not provided any proof supporting his claim.
Zakir told Clarion India that the court adjudicated only on the basis of police allegations. Neither the court nor police have cited any evidence, he added.
“There is no evidence and testimonies to substantiate what the police said about me in their report,” he said.
“The order was passed without hearing me and showing any evidence. That’s why I will challenge it in the higher court,” he said.