Waquar Hasan | Clarion India
NEW DELHI – The Uttar Pradesh Police has been slammed for booking 18 identified and hundreds of unidentified people under serious charges like sedition and rioting, after the lath-charging and use of tear gas against women protesting peacefully against the Citizenship Amendment Act at Ali Johar Park in Azamgarh’s Bilariyaganj on Wednesday.
The police arrested 18 people including well-known Madarsa Jamiatul Falah’s head, Moulana Tahir Madani, on Wednesday night.
The police also announced a reward of Rs 25000 on three students of Azamgarh’s Shibli College. In a statement, the police claimed that the protesters raised anti-national slogans as also abusive slogans against Prime Minister Modi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
Azamgarh-based activist Masihuddin Sanjar told Clarion India that the police allegations were baseless and cops have no evidence to prove the charges. “The police is claiming that the protesters had carried with them lathis, stones and weapons. They did not mention which all weapons. However, they are showing that they have seized 4 bikes. They did not seize even a lathi which they claimed the protesters had. Where did these things go? If you see videos, you will find the police forces pelting stones. The police concocted a story and presented it as the fact,” said Sanjar.
Sanjar said the police crackdown and the cases against the people were nothing but acts aimed at suppression of a peaceful protest. They make up stories to prepare the ground for arrests, he said.
UP-based human rights activist Rajiv Yadav said the police levelled false allegations against the protesters. There was no evidence to what the police accused the protesters of doing.
“They claimed in the FIR that the protesters made lewd comments against the Hindus. We have all the video evidence to show what happened there. There should be rather an FIR against the police for lathi-charging and using tear gas against the women protesters. Can they show a single video to prove anti-national slogans were raised and anti-Hindu comments made,,” Yadav asked.
He said there was absolutely no ground for invoking any sedition case against the peaceful protesters. “Did you slap any sedition case against the gunmen who opened fire on Jamia Millia students and Shaheen Bagh’s women protesters? Did you slap a sedition case against Anurag Thakur who instigated people to shoot the traitors? Did you slap a sedition case against the Bajrang Dal activists who lynched Inspector Subodh Kumar,” Yadav asked the BJP governments.
Earlier, the BJP government in Karnataka had registered a sedition case against the management of Bidar’s Shaheen Primary School for an anti-CAA play staged by school students there. The BJP government in Assam slapped a sedition case against JNU student Sharjeel Imam for talking about “cutting off the northeast” by blocking roads. Maharashtra’s Shiv Sena-led government too booked TISS students under sedition charges for supporting Sharjeel.