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

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.

Oxfam on WB project: ICT 'ineffective', privatised learning to worsen gender divide

By Rajiv Shah 
A top multinational NGO, with presence in several developed and developing countries, has taken strong exception to the World Bank part-funding Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project in six Indian states – Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha – for its emphasis on information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled approaches for teacher development, student assessment and digital platform for early childhood education.

Coal blocks for tycoons: Rinchi village tribals may be declared forest land encroachers

By Gladson Dungdung*
On June 18, 2020, the Government of India initiated the process for auctioning 41 coal blocks for commercialisation. These coal blocks are located in different states within India and most of them fall under Fifth Schedule areas. The Indian government claims that their decision to auction these coal areas is a big step towards making the country Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant) in the energy sector.