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UP makes public names of anti-CAA protesters

The administration has also put up some hoardings announcing the amount demanded from the 53 protestors in the Uttar Pradesh capital and warning that “their properties would be attached if they failed to pay the recovery amount.”

Updated: Mar 07, 2020 04:02 IST

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Lucknow

The move has attracted strong reactions not only from the protestors but also from ordinary citizens, politicians, legal experts and social activists. (Burhaan Kinu/HT photo for representation)

In an act of public shaming, the district administration has installed more than 100 hoardings, making public the images, names and addresses of protestors against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act who are accused of damaging public and private property during the violent demonstrations in Lucknow in December.

The administration has also put up some hoardings announcing the amount demanded from the 53 protestors in the Uttar Pradesh capital and warning that “their properties would be attached if they failed to pay the recovery amount.”

“It was ordered that there should be proper publication of the fact that these people are guilty. Hence, it was decided to put up the hoardings so that these people may not escape after selling off their properties,” said Vishwa Bhushan Mishra, additional district magistrate (ADM), trans-Gomti, whose court has issued recovery notices against some protestors.

The move has attracted strong reactions not only from the protestors but also from ordinary citizens, politicians, legal experts and social activists who slammed the idea of public shaming although some voices were in favour of the administration. The Samajwadi Party, on its official Twitter handle, put up posters of chief minister Yogi Adityanath and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya with scanned copies of old criminal cases filed against them.



SR Darapuri, a retired Indian Police Service officer whose picture is among the 53 anti-CAA protestors on the hoardings, said he planned to file a defamation suit against the Lucknow district administration. “Also, we would be challenging the additional district magistrate court’s order, which imposed recovery on anti-CAA protestors, in the high court. The act is undemocratic and we were not involved in the vandalism, a fact which even the police has failed to prove. This public shaming is not acceptable,” he said. Darapuri was detained for 17 days after the violent anti-CAA protests.

Some anti-CAA protestors said the billboards had given away their identities to the people who are in favour of the law posing a potential risk to their lives. “What happened in Delhi is known to all,”said Deepak Kabir, an anti-CAA protestor. He was referring to the recent violence involving mostly Muslim anti-CAA protestors and their mainly Hindu pro-CAA opponents .

“By publicising our names and addresses, the administration has identified us to the pro-CAA protestors, which could result in any untoward incident,” he said, adding that the cost of the hoardings may have exceeded the money demanded of the protestors. Robin Verma, another protestor, said: “The administration has actually shown the way to our houses to anti-social elements by making our addresses public.”

Some citizens asked why the administration couldn’t publicly display the names of criminals who commit serious offences like rape and murder.

“Why are their (criminals’) names only restricted to the police station and not at the main public congregation points,” said Smita Singh, a student of the University of Lucknow.

As of now, the district administration has assessed the damages at ~1.55 crore and issued recovery notices to 53 protestors.

“The administration is risking their {anti-CAA protestors’} lives by putting up their photographs with complete addresses and names,” said Madhu Garg, state president, All India Democratic Women’s Association.

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