Former Indian Police Service officer SR Darapuri said on Sunday that the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to “name and shame” anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors accused of inciting violence was a “danger to the life and liberty of citizens” not yet convicted by the court, NDTV reported.
The Allahabad High Court had on Sunday taken suo motu cognisance of the Adityanath-led government’s decision to put up hoardings with the names, addresses and pictures of the accused, and called the action “unacceptable”. The court said it would pronounce its verdict in the matter at 2 pm on Monday.
Darapuri welcomed the High Court’s observations. “The action by the Chief Justice [Govind Mathur] of the Allahabad High Court is welcome,” he said. “Because of the way the state government is behaving and the way they have put up hoardings, this intervention at the judicial level is a must and we welcome it.”
Darapuri is also among those whose photo and details have been put up on the hoardings. He told NDTV he does not know from where the state administration procured the photos. He called the action illegal. “It is a violation of our privacy and it has endangered our life and liberty and I personally hold the state responsible,” Darapuri added.
The bench, comprised of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha, said the state’s action was “highly unjust” and an “absolute encroachment” on personal liberty of the people whose names and photos were displayed.
Last week, the Lucknow administration had put up photos, names and addresses of 53 people at several locations in Lucknow city. Activist Sadaf Jafar, Shia cleric Maulana Saif Abbas, human rights defender Mohammed Shoaib and theatre personality Deepak Kabir are among those who have been named. An official from Chief Minister Adityanath’s office said the hoardings were put up on his instructions.
Speaking about the banners on March 6, Lucknow District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash had said that “around 100 such hoardings will be put up at several places”.
The Citizenship Amendment Act provides citizenship to refugees from six minority communities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who have entered India on or before December 31, 2014. The Act, passed on December 11, has been criticised for excluding Muslims. In December, at least 28 people died in protests against the Act, 19 of them in Uttar Pradesh itself. Most of those who died had suffered bullet-inflicted wounds.