For Muslims ‘guilty until proven innocent’ is the only song in UP

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Six’ Muslims who were arrested from Mau under National Security Act are free now.

By Haider Abbas

The hapless ‘six’ Muslims now free from National Security Act
It is now around a fortnight, and still there is no deliberation or any write-up, in any frontline newspaper or by any writer of national repute, on the issue as to how six-Muslims, who were in fact innocent in the first place, have now been granted bail, by the Allahabad High Court bench on November 28, 2021, as they were jailed under the National Security Act (NSA). Forget any editorial on it. NSA have been the favorite song of the BJP CM Ajay Singh Bisht government against the Muslims in UP, used as a potential weapon with an objective to destroy the entire families. This phenomenon has been going unabated since, at least around three decades, all across India, as thousands of Muslims have been apprehended under the draconian laws like

POTA/UAPA/NSA /Gangster and Goonda Act, and there are hundreds of stories of such Muslims, to have languished in jails for decades and ‘later-coming-out’ as innocents. There hasn’t been any report(s) of any compensation (or may be). There had hardly been any suo-motus from National Human Right Commission or from dozens of State Human Rights Commissions run in different states, as after all, it concerns the hapless Muslims! This is the only reality in India. An orphan community with only guarantees under the Constitution to survive!

Judiciary is the only recourse left for Muslims. But, how will Muslims face this onslaught, with virtually no financial resources, to fend for the extremely expensive judicial process? Is also the question which mars the Muslim society, which thereby, makes innocent Muslims to remain in jails for decades. Charge -sheets by police getting delayed for years in a norm. In the latest case, however, the HC has given a shock if not a tight slap on AS Bisht government, and has quashed the NSA imposed on the six-Muslims from Mau, in UP. All the six were implicated for the protests over the controversial and anti-people and anti-Muslim, CAA/NRC/NPR i.e. citizenship laws. The six who have been given the clean chit from the HC are: Amir Shabbir, Shahryar, Abdul Wahab, Asif Chandan, Anas and Faizan.

How lax has been the functioning of police, as far as filing of chargesheets is concerned, can be accessed from the various reports, published from time to time, as IndiaToday reported last in September 2020, that ‘in a period of three years, over 3,000 UAPA cases have been registered by the security agencies. However, only 821 chargesheets were filed within a stipulated period of 180 days in the last three years’. This is barely around 27%. Another report published lately in Jansatta, on June 18, 2021, tells, that out of 7840 persons arrested under UAPA, in the last five years, the prosecution could prove -the-charges in only 155 cases. This is hardly around 2%. UAPA is the most draconian law of the country, where there the charge-sheet can be filed in 180 days, and no wonder, on the way blatantly this UAPA has been misused, the Delhi HC, has raised questions on the very utility of the law. On June 16, 2021,

The Indian Express reported, ‘Delhi HC calls out misuse of UAPA, raises bar for State to slap terror tag. The three orders by the Delhi High Court are perhaps the first instance of a court calling out alleged misuse of the UAPA against individuals in cases that do not necessarily fall in the category of “terrorism” cases’.
For an onlooker there are hundreds of cases, where even those who have criticized India’s BJP PM Narendra Modi or UP BJP CM Ajay Singh Bisht have been shoved into jails, and that too under very stringent laws like ‘sedition laws’ or the laws discussed earlier. The AS Bisht government had also gone ahead for ‘name-shaming’ as Lucknow had been a witness to putting-up big blow-up posters of persons, including women, who had protested against the anti-people citizenship laws in the country in December 2020.

A poster of ‘name-shaming’ in Lucknow. Courtesy: Internet
It may be here referred that the ‘thok-do sarkar’ of AS Bisht, was into its real-mode as it was reported in December 2020 that around 19 Muslims had been killed by firing by police, and more than 1100 had been arrested, all across UP, in the wake of the eruption of anti-CAA/NRC/NPR protests. Why would this happen? Obviously, for the cardinal baseline, which has been the destiny of Muslims of India since 1947, that the governments do not consider a ‘fig-for-Muslims lives’. Will it be feasible to juxtapose the Hong-Kong protests, against the Chinese government which had gone for months and months but did not see a single bullet to have been fired!

Owing to the widespread anathema of AS Bisht towards Muslims, where-in he has gone on record to even ridicule Tipu Sultan and Bahadur Shah Zafar, one of the greatest icons of movement for independence from Britishers, and the way more than 100 frivolous cases i.e. goat/hen robbery, have been slapped on Muhammed Azam Khan, the tallest Muslim political face in UP by the UP government, there is a general refrain for BJP amongst Muslims, who play a pivotal role in at least 130/403 seats, and where the trend to vote is against BJP and into for Samajwadi Party(SP) which has been in the forefront to uphold the pledge for secularism and socialism in UP for the last three decades.

AS Bisht, it may be mentioned, in a video of 29 seconds, available on social-media, allegedly says that he was once on a visit to Karnataka and found the progenies of Tipu Sultan to be ‘driving-rickshaws’ and in Kolkata the descendents of Bahadur Shah Zafar were ‘washing-utensils’. This tragedy might befall on anyone, but, the real venom was yet to come as he threatened ‘maulanas’ (general Muslims) to open their ears and listen, that the day Hindu wakes up , (Muslims) would only draw-rickshaws and wash utensils, as their only respite. Thereby, setting the agenda, that there is no plan for any development for Muslims, no employment, no jobs etc, and always a trigger-happy police to fire on the chest! And, if not that then the next place to be is jail. Muslims, therefore, have nothing but only judiciary which seems still to be on the anvil despite its high wages, for the financially incapacitated community.

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The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner and a political analyst.

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