By Dr. Batul Hamid
Kanpur : Rihai Manch, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and All India Lawyers Council (AILC) on Tuesday slammed the police for one-sided action against the Muslim community in connection with the clashes that took place in Kanpur on Friday. They demanded a probe into the same under the supervision of a sitting high court judge.
Addressing a press conference, PUCL leader Alok Agnihotri, Rihai Manch General Secretary Rajiv Yadav and AILC General Secretary Sharfarazuddin Ahmed underscored that the police was complicit in the violence.
“The criminal role of police converted a protest, which was held to demand action against BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, into Hindu-Muslim tension. The police were seen with rioters,” they said.
The speakers also shed light on the series of events that unfolded on Friday.
A bandh/shutdown was called by local organizations in protest against Nupur Sharma’s insulting remarks on Friday. Since President Ramn Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel were about to attend a program in the city on the same day, the organisers postponed the bandh for Sunday after a dialogue with the local administration. But some shopkeepers kept the shops closed because it was Friday. When people were returning after Friday prayers, tensions escalated after an altercation at Chandreshwar Hata.
Leaders of the aforementioned rights groups accused the government of suppressing Muslims. They condemned one-sided arrests, raids and displaying of hoardings. “This act is against the fundamental rights, privacy, dignity and law of the citizens. There is a conspiracy to defame them by criminalizing them,” they said.