Jeopardizing the life of people who participated in the December 2019 protests in Lucknow, the Adityanath government had put up hoardings at several places in Uttar Pradesh featuring the photos, names, and addresses of 53 people.
Condemning the move, the Allahabad court which had taken a suo moto case on Monday ordered the government to take down all the posters. But is that enough? Aren’t these activists already vulnerable to the miscreants? Who is responsible? Here is what you need to know:
An open war helmed by a mindless leader
Adityanath had been hysteric since anti-CAA protests were launched across the nation. He had earlier given out a warning that anyone who is part of these protests would be charged with sedition.
Raising a threat against the protestors, the Uttar Pradesh CM also said, “If someone is coming with the intention to die, then how will that person remain alive.” He was responding on the police crackdown on anti-CAA protesters in UP. Close to 20 people were shot down by the government for being part of the protests.
He was however not done. Taking his vengeance one step further, he ordered to put up hoardings carrying the photographs and personal details of the protesters in the strategic traffic points in Lucknow.
The people in the hoardings were called ‘rioters’ who owe the administration compensation for apparently destructing public property.
Activist Sadaf Jafar, retired Indian Police Service officer SR Darapuri, Shia cleric Maulana Saif Abbas, human rights defender Mohammed Shoaib and theatre personality Deepak Kabir are among those who have been named.
Did they put up posters of Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi at all airports?
Sadaf Jafar said that the move was unethical. “How can we be publicly humiliated for something that has not yet been proved in court?” the activist asked. “Legal issues cannot be brought into public like this. Our bail order says there is no adequate evidence against us,” she said.
“Why are we being targeted like this?” she questioned.
“Did they put up posters of Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi at all airports? Had they done it they would have not fled with the country’s wealth.”
Trials in cases of December’s violence during anti #CAA protests in Lucknow yet to begin,but @UPGovt has put up hoardings of alleged ‘rioters’ across Lucknow ,asking them to pay up property damage compensation .This even as courts elsewhere in UP have stayed such proceedings … pic.twitter.com/rBzZWB1Q5d
— Alok Pandey (@alok_pandey) March 6, 2020
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi lashed out at the Adityanath government.
“The attitude of the BJP government of Uttar Pradesh is such that the head of the government and the officials, who are following his footsteps have started considering themselves above the Constitution made by Babasaheb Ambedkar,” the Congress general secretary tweeted in Hindi.
Remove the hoardings says Allahabad High Court
Meanwhile, an Allahabad high court bench headed by Chief Justice Govind Mathur, which had taken a suo moto case in the matter, ordered on Monday to remove the hoardings. The bench said the action violated Article 14 of the constitution and was an “unwarranted interference in the privacy of people.”
In a hearing held yesterday, the court had orally asked the administration to take them down. However, the AG who appeared for the state refused and responded that this bench of the high court did not have jurisdiction, as the hoardings were in Lucknow.
“Good sense should prevail on the State and it must remove the hoardings before 3 pm and apprise the court about this at 3,” the bench said.
Desperate attempt for revenge
There is a poster that is preserved at the Library of Congress. Created by an artist in 1943, it reads, ‘Der ist Schuld am Kriege’ which can be translated to “The war is his fault.”
The poster shows a hand extending from above with finger pointing accusingly at a man wearing a top hat and with a yellow Magen David labeled “Jude” on his coat. Adityanath’s hoarding strangely reminds of this poster.
While Adityanath’s government is being criticized for the life of 20 people, he is in a desperate attempt to wash his hands off by putting the blame on protesters. And what makes it worse is that it is an open call for revenge.