THE CITIZEN BUREAU | 26 DECEMBER, 2019
Terror in Uttar Pradesh
He is just 15 years old, studying in Class 7. Schools were closed on December 19 and his family says he was going to his sisters house when he came across a stone pelting mob. Terrified he started running back home but has no idea what happened then. He woke up in hospital, and is too weak to even speak. He was felled by a police bullet that hit him in the back and ripped through his body, lawyers said with one posting the incident on the social media. The police has not finished with him and want to take him to jail. Policemen are harassing the terrified family who have no idea what to do.
19 year old Mohammad Jimal was returning from his elder sisters house where he had gone to deliver a gas cylinder. He was shot in the stomach, but somehow managed to reach home. He is the sole earner of the family. His account was shared by his lawyer Ashma Izzat, a brave young woman who is one of the few in UP mustering the courage to state the facts. He was in the trauma centre in Lucknow and while Izzat was speaking with his sister, the police came and asked her to leave. She said she was his lawyer, but they insisted. He is being
20 year old Suleman and 25 year old Anas were killed in Bijnore. The UP police first denied any deaths, and then admitted that Suleman had died from a police bullet and was a “rioter”. His family has denied this, saying he had nothing to do with the protests.
Bloodcurdling videos are spilling out ---from Lucknow, Meerut, Muzzafarnagar, Bijnore with the wall of silence imposed through prohibitory orders, internet ban, and police action being slowly penetrated. The stories follow a similar pattern. The police walking through the streets, barging into homes, destroying properties, beating the residents, abusing them, and telling them to leave the town. Or conversely, chasing protestors, beating them and opening fire with at least 20 reported dead in different incidents. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath insists that the police were defending the state from miscreants, and has instructed his cops to show no mercy in dealing with them. Properties are being attached on a daily basis, with largely Muslim residents being given hefty figures --even Rs 50 lakhs ---to pay for the ‘damage’ done.
Politically the Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati are missing in action. Yadav is at home, and the Behenji seems to have vanished. The Samajwadi party youth have held some protests. Priyanka Gandhi visited victims in Bijnore. Trinamool Congress MPs delegation tried to visit UP but were detained at the Lucknow airport and sent back. Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Jayant Chaudhary tried to go to western UP districts on Wednesday but was stopped, however reinforced with supporters he visited the families in Meerut and Muzaffarnagar today. Activists have started trickling in, and planning visits to the affected areas. UP Minister Kapil Dev Agarwal also visited Bijnore, and visited the home of Om Raj Saini who was injured in the violence, Reporters at his press conference asked him why he had not visited the homes of the two Muslim families who had lost their sons. His response, “"Why should I go to the homes of rioters. Listen to me. Those who are rioting and want to inflame passions, how are they part of society. Why should I go there? This is not about Hindu-Muslim. Why should I go to rioters?"
CPI(M) politburo member Prakash Karat said, “The most brutal State repression is taking place in Uttar Pradesh. 20 people have died so far and scores seriously injured by police firing. Yet the UP police denied anyone had died due to police bullets. Postmortem reports are suppressed. Only later in one case has the police accepted that a person was killed when the police officer fired in “self defence”. Chief Minister Adityanath, called for `badla’, i.e., revenge, and declared that those responsible for destruction of public properties will be made to pay for it. This pronouncement has intensified the police repression on the minority community and the process of issuing notices to persons to pay fines has begun. In Rampur district, for instance, 28 persons have been asked to pay Rs 14 lakhs. This is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the British raj in Punjab after the Rowlatt Act was enacted.”