Skip to main content

Reconsider, withdraw 'false' cases on peaceful anti-CAA protesters: Letter to UP CM

SR Darapuri, former IPS
Counterview Desk
Magsaysay awardee Sandeep Pandey, in an open letter, has warned Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, "If you'll send social activists, who have faith in the Constitution, to jail because your police in unable to identify the anarchist elements then the space for peaceful means of expressing dissent with the government in a democracy will be eliminated and anarchist elements will be easily able to mislead the common people."
Offering the names of a large number of well-known social activists who are being "victimised" by the state police, Pandey, who is a well-known social activist and academic, and vice-president, Socialist Party (India),  says, "It is the anarchist elements which are responsible for violence but action is being taken against people who, all along their lives, have adopted peaceful means of protests and have faith in the Constitution of the country."

Text:

I had sought your appointment on December 21, 2019. However, as I didn't get a response I thought of writing my thoughts to you through this open letter. I want to make some comments on the approach of government-administration on protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) held in Lucknow and Uttar Pradesh.
A pertinent question which needs to be asked is when lakhs of people assembled at other places in the country without any untoward incident why did violence break out in UP? The vengeance with which UP government-administration is acting in response to the violence by anarchist elements which took place during protests is condemnable as more maturity and restraint is expected of any government-administration.
It is the anarchist elements which are responsible for violence but action is being taken against people who, all along their lives, have adopted peaceful means of protests and have faith in the Constitution of the country. My friends Advocate Mohammad Shoaib and retired Indian Police Services officer SR Darapuri have been arrested, who like me were under house arrest in Lucknow on December 19, 2019, the day on which maximum violence took place.
Mohammad Shoaib was secretary of city unit of Socialist Party when he was a student of LLB at Lucknow University in 1972 and at present is the state president of Socialist Party (India).
He has been successful in getting 14 innocent youth, who were falsely implicated in terrorism related cases, acquitted from the Court after contesting their cases. He was attacked inside Court by advocates who didn't want him to take up cases of the abovementioned youth but has not used violence against anybody in his life.
SR Darapuri is a human rights and Ambedkarite activist and has contested Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections from UP. In 2008, he and I were part of a fact finding team which had produced a report declaring Shahbaz from Lucknow innocent when he was picked up by Rajasthan police in the Jaipur bomb blast case, in which Shahbaz was recently acquitted by the Court too.
Sadaf Jafar
Robin Verma, a University teacher and a volunteer of Rihai Manch, of which Mohammad Shoaib is the President, has been beaten up badly by police before being sent to jail. Congress Party spokesperson Sadaf Jafar was till the last moment before her arrest trying to pacify the youth who were indulging in violence of which there is proof. Similarly, Deepak Mishra is a creative cultural activist and Dr Pawan Rao Ambedkar is a lecturer at Rae Bareli.
In Varanasi among the activists and students who have been arrested I personally know Anoop Shramik, Dhananjay Tripathi, Diwakar Singh, Ram Janam, Shivraj Yadav, Ekta, Ravi Kumar, Sanya Khan, Sriprakash Rai, Prashant Rai, Satish Singh, Raj Abhishek, Deepak Rajguru, Manish Kumar, Sanjeev Singh, Arpit Giri, Narendra Mani Tripathi, Gaurav Mani Tripathi, Shahid Jamal and Chedilal Nirala about whom I can say with confidence that they can only be involved in peaceful protests.
I've myself demonstrated peacefully against CAA-NRC outside Banaras Hindu University main gate on December 14 and outside my house under detention on 19 December.
If you'll send social activists, who have faith in the Constitution, to jail because your police in unable to identify the anarchist elements then the space for peaceful means of expressing dissent with the government in a democracy will be eliminated and anarchist elements will be easily able to mislead the common people.
One of those arrested is Mohd Shoaib, who got 14 innocent youth, falsely implicated in terrorism related cases, acquitted
Social activists have a useful role of providing creative options to people of expressing their opposition to the government on any issue. It is certain that if social activists will be able to influence the protests they will remain peaceful and in their absence there is danger of these protests turning anarchist.
I'll leave it to your wisdom. If you think it proper please reconsider your decision and withdraw the cases against abovementioned activists and release all innocent people.
I've an additional comment. After the nationwide protests against CAA-NRC now the Bhartiya Janata Party leaders are asking the Muslim citizens of country not to worry. But in the FIRs registered in response to violence during protests most of the names of accused are Muslims.
For example, in FIR No 600/2019 registered at Police Station, Hazratganj, Lucknow out of 39 accused, 36 names are those of Muslims whereas non-Muslims participated in the protests in large numbers and out of 16 youth killed in UP due to bullet injuries all are Muslims. If there will be a bias against Muslims in taking action then how can they be expected to have confidence in the government-administration?
I hope you'll deliberate over my letter.

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

Dalits rights meet planned on how citizenship law 'negates' Ambedkar's equality focus

By Our Representative
A Dalit rights meet has been planned at the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), Sanand, Ahmedabad district, to discuss implications of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed by Parliament on December 10-11, for Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalized sections. Announcing the decision, DSK director Martin Macwan said, the meet would take place on December 25, 2019, at 11.00 am, to commemorate the anniversary of burning of copies of Manusmriti by Dr BR Ambedkar.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.