A youth organisation called the Fraternity Movement Allahabad on Tuesday said that the Uttar Pradesh police filed an FIR under the Epidemic Diseases Act against some of its members for protesting against two deaths in police firing in Assam’s Darrang district last week.
The FIR was filed in the Kareli police station after the Fraternity Movement Allahabad and members of allied organisations gathered at Atala in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday to protest against what it described as “state atrocities on Muslims in Assam”.
Under the Epidemic Diseases Act – which has been in force across India during the coronavirus pandemic – the Centre and states can make rules to prevent the spread of a “dangerous epidemic disease”. Under Section 2(1) of the Act, a state government can restrict public gatherings.
In a statement, the Fraternity Movement and its member organisations condemned the Uttar Pradesh police “for intimidating protestors and trying to curb dissent” and demanded that the FIR be quashed.
“We resolve to keep raising our voice against oppression and state sponsored terrorism,” the statement said.
The organisation said that it stood with all the activists named in the FIR.
Sunday’s protest was also supported by the Students Islamic Organisation of India, All India Students Association, Disha Students Organisation, Advikta Manch and two more student bodies.
The protest by Fraternity India is one of many that have been taking place since the police action in Assam last week.
The All Minority Organisations Coordination Committee, which includes the All Assam Minority Students Union, Jamiat-e-Ulema and other organisations, on Friday had called for a 12-hour bandh in Darrang district.
In Delhi, police detained students on Friday when they protested at the Assam Bhavan, according to The Tribune. The Congress arm of the National Students Union of India had also burned an effigy of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma during the protest.