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'UP officials turning a blind eye to processions with weapons during Hindu festivals'

Tuesday April 3, 2018 7:55 PM, News Network

Insaaf Yatra

New Delhi: Amidst reports of religious processions triggering communal violence in Bihar, West Bengal and other parts of India, residents of Muzaffarnagar and Shamli have accused the Uttar Pradesh administration of turning a blind eye to processions with weapons allegedly taken out to provoke riots.

Talking to the members of ‘Insaaf Yatra’ organized by ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy) on 31st March 2018 to Muzaffarnagar and Shamli, the residents alleged that processions with weapons were taken out during Hindu religious holidays to intimidate them and provoke riots.

Talking to activists including human rights activist and Managing Trustee of ANHAD Ovais Sultan Khan, former member Delhi Minorities Commission AC Michael, social activist Md. Faizan Alam, human rights activists Meha Khanduri and Syed Ravish Alam, and other social and human rights activists from Delhi, Muzaffarnagar and Shamli, the residents also complained of an indifferent administration which turned a blind eye to such provocation.

The ANHAD Insaaf Yatra was in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli to express solidarity with the families and children in Khatauli who had been arrested and jailed unlawfully, protest the state government’s move to erase 131 cases against those accused of 2003 Muzaffarnagar pogrom and to protest the spate of extra judicial killings in the state.

The members said they were horrifying after hearing about the fake encounters and that pressure being exerted by the police on the families of the victims to withdraw their demands for judicial inquiry. “Extra judicial murders have no space in a lawful democracy and we demand independent judicial inquiries into all such encounters. In case of them being proved as murders, the policemen who have been involved in such encounters should be arrested and punished by a court of law”, they said.

Hindu Religeous Procession

The delegation also called for a strong civil society response against these illegal acts by the police and a national and international campaign to stop the misuse of the law and order machinery. The members also discussed detailed facts on the case of 4 minor children being arrested and jailed with adults since December 2017. They were also told about the arrest of many Muslims including journalists by the police on flimsy ground.

The members of the Insaaf Yatra, taken out to express solidarity with the protests being organized by the Uttar Pradesh National Alliance for People’s Movements and other civil society organizations against erasure of the criminal cases of Muzaffarnagar pogrom accused, gave the representatives of the government a memorandum and went on to Kandhla to meet the residents and evaluate the situation post the 2013 pogrom.

The members also discussed detailed facts pertaining to the case of 4 minor children being arrested and jailed with adults since December 2017. “The Insaaf Yatra strongly condemns the arrest of the minor children in Khatauli and being jailed with adults instead of juvenile homes and calls for strict action to be taken against the police and the judge who has abused the rights of children”, the members said.

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