New Delhi: At least 3,000 people were illegally arrested by Uttar Pradesh police for taking part in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and many of them remain in jails under fabricated charges, even after more than two years since the anti-CAA protests began, said a new report by Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR).
Most of them who were targeted by BJP government are Muslims, Maktoob Media reported quoting the APCR report.
The report said that an estimated 350 First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered regarding anti-CAA protests against around 5000 named individuals and over 100,000 unknown persons, which gives a free license to the state police to implicate any person in these cases and subject them to unnecessary harassment without any fault.
“The state administration and all its bodies indulged in intimidation tactics by serving ‘caution’ notices to over 3000 people, warning them to abstain from protesting on the eve of the first all India protest across the state scheduled on 19,12,2019. Later, they were also formally arraigned in various FIR’s. Approximately 3305 people were detained from the protests that day. Two days later, this number rose to 5400,” read the report.
At the end of two years, the APCR report noted that those who were illegally arrested, and tortured in prison also received the damages notice.
It said, their families made payments of those receipts in the police station while they were in jail. The state police have disagreed to return the amount after their bail.
The report reiterated that at least 23 Muslims were killed in police action across Uttar Pradesh during anti-CAA protests in December 2019.
“The State has completely shirked away responsibility for these deaths. All these deaths were caused by bullet injuries. Post mortems were carried out under questionable circumstances. FIR’s were not registered. Proper burials were not allowed. 8 Special Investigation Teams (SIT’s) were set up; however, no arrests have been made till now,” the report claimed.
“The police ran away when I heard the crowd scream. I went and saw Anas was shot. All I could see was a pool of blood and my son lying in it. I along with my brothers took him to the hospital,” Arshad Hussain who lost his son Anas in the police shooting during CAA protest in December 2019, told Maktoob media.
“He was conscious and told us that police shot him,” Maktoob media quoted Mohammed Saif’s father, Mohammed Taqi as saying.
The family had to hear about Saif’s death through a local TV channel although they were right outside the operation theatre. “Doctors only told us next morning,” the report quoted Zaki saying, brother of Saif.
APCR report also stated that over 500 recovery notices have been arbitrarily issued, without due legal process, across ten districts for damages worth an estimate of Rs.3.55 crores during the protests against CAA and NRC. “This has caused protracted harassment and trauma to those who have been targeted,” it said.
The civil rights advocacy group urged the Uttar Pradesh government to immediately release a comprehensive statement on the number of FIR’s registered, people arrested, detained, accused, bailed, booked under stringent anti-terror legislation and other draconian laws during the anti-CAA agitation.
“The statement should include the details of those sent recovery notices, properties attached and auctioned if any. This data must be made public along with a detailed report on the status of all of these cases,” it said.
APCR also demanded a comprehensive compensation package for the kith and kin of those who were killed in police action.
“The compensation should also include those who have suffered temporary or permanent disabilities due to police action,” APCR demanded.