In a move to shame the protestors, Yogi Adityanath’s government put up banners of Anti-CAA protestors who are accused of vandalism at major road crossings in Lucknow late on Thursday.
The banners bore the contact details of the protestors and they are yet to be proven guilty by the court.
This was done in order to seek out compensation for damage to public property that took place during the anti CAA protests of December.
The posters also say that the property of the accused will be confiscated by the state if they fail to pay the compensation. A ruling party official said that they have been put up on the direction of the CM at busy roads including the front of the assembly building.
The posters include political activist, a former IPS officer and a minor among others. This act of public name and shame has invited sharp criticism from opposition and public alike.
Samajwadi Party has criticized the actions of the ruling party as unconstitutional. It’s president Akhilesh Yadav said that the government is out and about to crush everyone who goes against it. The Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi tweeted against this move calling out the Yogi government and alleging that they consider themselves above the Constitution.
Activist Sadaf Jafar whose photo is amongst the banners says she will sort legal action against this unethical move. “It’s not Afghanistan, legal issues can’t be bought to the public like this. The bail says there is no adequate evidence against them.”
IPS officer SR Darapuri who is among the people whose poster has been put up by UP government called this action of government has put their life, property and reputation in jeopardy. He has taken a legal course and written to the police commissioner and State home Secretary calling them responsible if any mishappenings were to take place.
Allahabad High Court itself took a Suo Moto cognizance of the matter and a special bench that comprised of Hon’ble Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha which sat on Sunday, March 8th at 10:00 AM.
The bench headed by CJ Govind Mathur stated “In entirety, we are having no doubt that the action of the State which is a subject matter of this public interest litigation is nothing but an unwarranted interference in the privacy of people. The same hence is in violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
Accordingly, the District Magistrate, Lucknow and the Commissioner of Police, Lucknow Commissionerate, Lucknow are directed to remove the banners from the roadside forthwith. The State of Uttar Pradesh is directed not to place such banners on roadside containing personal data of individuals without having the authority of law.
A report of satisfactory compliance is required to be submitted by the District Magistrate, Lucknow to the Registrar General of this Court on or before 16th March 2020. On receiving such compliance report, the proceedings of this petition shall stand closed.”
While former IPS officer SR Durpuri hailed this judgment as rule of law and a defeat of anarchy of the government. On this, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s media advisor Mrityunjay Kumar has said, “Allahabad High Court has asked the government to remove posters but not to drop charges against rioters, thus we will continue to fight to highlight the rioter’s identity.”
“Mercy for rioters is not possible during Yogi raj,” he further said.
This attitude of the government seems to be that of a local bully rather than that of an official body, only time will tell what is in store for UP’s public.