Close on the heels of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issuing notice to the Uttar Pradesh Police regarding the action taken during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the UP human rights panel has also issued notice to the Yogi Adityanath government.
Taking a suo-motu cognisance based on the various media reports, UP Human Rights Commission (UPHRC) chairperson Justice (retired) Rafat Alam directed the state chief secretary to make a “detailed enquiry of all the related incidents” and send a report within four weeks.
In its order, the UPHRC noted that according to the media reports, several people were injured and “many died” when the police resorted to lathicharge and firing at rallies and dharnas (sit-ins) organised by the protesters against the CAA.
“Allegations are raised at certain quarters including the media that these deaths, scores of injured persons and the consequent violation of human rights, was the result of police excesses and reckless handling by the police. The Commission finds it a fit case for an inquiry by taking suo-motu cognisance,” the order bearing December 30, 2019 date stated.
Earlier, the NHRC had received complaints seeking its intervention in the alleged incidents of violation of human rights by the cops against protesters, following which a notice was issued to the UP Director General of Police (DGP) seeking a report in four weeks.
The complainant had alleged that after the passage of the CAA, “there have been many incidents of human rights violations” by the authorities in UP. “Youth have been killed, the internet has been suspended and the police themselves are destroying public property. The right to peaceful assembly has also been violated,” according to the complaint submitted to the NHRC.
Meanwhile, the Adityanath government has maintained the state police exhibited utmost restraint even in the face of arson and violence by protesters across the state, including in Lucknow.
Although, the UP Police claimed that none died in police firing, yet several people lost their lives during the spiral of violence during anti-CAA protesters in several places.
The state government has already warned that those responsible for violence and destruction of public properties would not be spared and attachment notices would be issued against them. So far, nearly 500 people have been identified for causing damage to the public and private properties in UP.
Recently, Congress general secretary in charge of UP Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had, during her Lucknow visit, dubbed CAA as unconstitutional and compared it with ‘notebandi’ (demonetisation).
She observed CAA was unconstitutional and would cause hardships to the poor, urban dwellers, labourers etc, since they would be required to produce their birth and residency proofs.
Vadra had also alleged UP Police had prevented the family members of those killed during the violence in UP from lodging cases.