The Allahabad High Court on Monday asked the Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government to submit a report on the allegations of police brutality during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in the state last month, PTI reported. The state authorities were asked to submit the report by February 17.
At least 19 people died in Uttar Pradesh during clashes between the police and those protesting against the amended Act in December.
“How many complaints have been filed against the police or government officials over the crackdown on protestors?” the court asked the state government, according to IANS. A two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Verma was hearing seven pleas filed against the police and government officials for their involvement in the crackdown on protestors.
The counsel for one of the petitioners, Mehmood Pracha, said the court also asked the state authorities if the autopsy reports of those who died during anti-CAA protests had been given to their families. The High Court also asked for information on the procedure for the imposition of prohibitory orders in the state at the time, reported ANI. It also sought details on the number of people who died during the protests.
“The court wanted some further clarifications from us,” Manish Goyal, one of the lawyers representing the state government, told NDTV. “We have given details of all the policemen who have sustained gunshot injuries in the violence. We have given a district-wise break-up to the court. The court has asked us for details of all first information reports filed in the violence and its aftermath.”
The High Court reportedly asked whether the veracity of news reports in the matter had been examined.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11 and notified on January 10, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.
A section of the protestors fear that the amended law and the National Register of Citizens will be misused to target Muslims since the Citizenship Act now has religion as a criterion. There are also fears that a nation-wide National Register of Citizens will be imposed.
The Congress on Monday approached the National Human Rights Commission and called for inquiry into the police action against anti-CAA protestors. The delegation, led by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, met high-ranking NHRC officials and presented a 31-page submission that included visuals to support the allegations.
There have been reports of the police in Uttar Pradesh denying medical aid to the injured, some of whom were not even protestors and were simply caught up in the demonstrations. Video footage and first-hand accounts emerged of policemen entering and ransacking Muslim homes, looting cash, beating up women and the elderly, and breaking the windows of cars.