The police in Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad district included a deceased man in its list of 200 potential troublemakers who, according to it, could disrupt peace during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, The Telegraph reported on Thursday.
“My father, who died six years ago, has been booked under sections 107 [security for keeping the peace in other cases] and 116 [inquiry as to truth of information] of the Code of Criminal Procedure because the police believe he is likely to disturb public tranquillity,” said Mohammad Sarfaraz Khan, the son of Banne Khan.
The police officials served the notice to Mohammad Sarfaraz Khan at his home. When he showed them his father’s death certificate, Mohammad Sarfaraz Khan got scolded and told that Banne Khan had to appear before a magistrate and submit a bail application within a week’s time or “else he would be arrested”.
Others who were given similar notices by the state police include 90-year-old Sufi Abar Hussain and 93-year-old Fasahat Meer Khan. Hussain worked at Jama Masjid in Lucknow city for 58 years, while Fasahat Meer Khan used to be a social activist. “My father is a well-known social worker and has even met former President APJ Abdul Kalam at Rashtrapati Bhavan,” Fasahat Meer Khan’s son Mohammad Tahir told News18. “I fail to understand why police is issuing notice to him.”
The police reportedly identify potential miscreants through intelligence inputs provided by beat constables. Firozabad City Magistrate Kunwar Pankaj said there was a lot of pressure after violence broke out on December 20. “We received reports from several police stations and action was taken.” he said. “We have been informed that many people were wrongly named, were elderly and bed-ridden. For sure no action will be taken against them.”
On December 20, Chief Minister Adityanath had said revenge would be taken against people who had damaged public property during the protests. The Opposition criticised the chief minister’s remarks and sought a judicial inquiry into the police’s actions.
A first information report has been filed against six police officers in connection with the death of a 20-year-old man in Bijnor district.
The Citizenship Amendment Act sparked protests across India after it was approved by Parliament on December 11. The legislation provides citizenship to people from six religious minority groups in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The law has attracted widespread criticism for excluding Muslims.