Treating the accused as convicted criminals is a state  violence: All India Muslim Personal Law Board 

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Injured protesters in Ranchi hospital.

By Special Correspondent

New Delhi: Community and rights organisations have slammed the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government for demolishing Muslim homes in flagrant violation of the constitution. After Kanpur and Saharanpur, the UP authorities in Allahabad razed the house of social activist Javed Mohammad in the presence of a large police force who was made the mastermind of the violence that erupted during the protest on Friday.

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All India Muslim Personal Law Board described the action a brazen violation of the constitution. Does our law of the land allow demolishing someone’s house for protesting or throwing stones for that matter? Does it allow shooting down and killing someone for sloganeering “Islam Zinadabad”?  The Board’s General Secretary Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani asked.

He  said that the demonstration of lawlessness by the government in treating the accused of a crime as convicted criminals even before the crime is proven is exceedingly tragic and is a form of violence by State in itself.

Those who are peacefully protesting against BJP leaders’ indecent act and hate speech are facing cases being registered against them, lathi-charge, and their houses being demolished, he added.

“Unless a person is found guilty by a court of law—he/she is only an accused and to treat them as a criminal is nothing but ‘anarchy’. On the other hand, a person whose criminal activity is out in the open, publically available in the media and the crime has even been acknowledged—the political party has only suspended her without state authorities taking any meaningful action against her. This is a complete miscarriage of justice”.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board calls upon the Central Government and other state governments to refrain from peddling injustice.

The stone-pelters, whether they are Hindus or Muslims, should be investigated, arrested, and brought before the courts of law then whatever decisions the courts arrive at, must be enforced as per the law. T

The  current approach of the state government is utterly deplorable and is promoting communal disharmony. Instead of creating an atmosphere of peace, law, and order; such actions will only create an atmosphere of chaos and hatred.

He said the All India Muslim Personal Law Board demands immediate release of those arrested in the aforementioned cases and cases against them, if any, be brought before the courts of law as per the procedure established by law. Adequate compensation should be provided to the survivors of those who lost their lives and the ones injured, and action must be taken against those policemen who have exceeded the limits of the law.

The Board also appeals to Muslims to be patient; present memorandums to local government officials in order to express their displeasure towards the hate speech against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH); gather evidence of police brutality and share such evidence with social organizations in order to register FIRs.

Another organization  Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH)  also  vehemently condemned the highhandedness of the police and administration in Ranchi in Jharkhand, Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh and other places in the country over protests by Muslims against derogatory remarks on Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) and demanded an impartial judicial enquiry into the custodial torture, police excesses and demolition of houses, and punishment to the guilty at the earliest.

JIH President Syed Sadatullah Husaini, “what the police have done in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand concerning the democratic protest by Muslims on June 10, amounts to throttling democracy and rule of law.”

The JIH President appealed to the Muslim community not to fall into the trap of anti-social elements and those who wish to create division within society while exercising their democratic rights for conducting peaceful protests.

Immediately  after the demolition of Javed Mohammad’s house at Prayagraj, the JIH President had tweeted terming it as ‘something which no civilised society could ever imagine’ and that ‘police itself is blatantly trying to make an end to the rule of law.’

Reiterating his stand, Husani said, “pulling down the houses of someone simply because one criticizes the policies of the government which he considers against the larger public interest, or shooting someone protesting to express his/her grievance is something unimaginable for any civilized society. This smacks of vendetta politics. We condemn it in the strongest terms and feel that it sends a wrong message to the people of our country creating more unrest among them and reducing their confidence in the impartiality of the government. If the UP government has any respect for the law, it should compensate the losses and take immediate stringent action against the officials responsible.”

Husaini said, “the JIH feels that the action was taken against Javed Mohammed, a well-known social and human rights activist in Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, smacks of vendetta politics. He also reminded that Javed and his family denied that any of them had taken part in Friday’s (June 10) protest and that the house demolished was also owned by his wife and not him.

Meanwhile, social group Popular Front of India condemned the police firing and killing of innocent Muslims who were protesting against the derogatory remarks made by top BJP officials on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

National Secretary Muhammed Shakif  said the casualties during the protest were the result of an arbitrary crackdown by the police and so there should be an impartial investigation into the incidents of firings against unarmed protestors.

“There were also reports of Hindutva mobs pelting stones at peaceful protestors in Ranchi. Apart from this the relatives of one of the boys who was killed in the firing in Ranchi have raised doubts on whether the fatal bullet was fired from the hindutva groups or by the police. Jharkhand being a non-BJP ruled state, it should also be investigated whether the Hindutva miscreants were purposefully creating problems, “ he said.

Apart from these police brutalities, the bulldozer roll-outs by BJP-ruled states like UP to the houses of the protestors clearly reveal the Hindutva intentions of keeping Muslims silent even in grave issues concerning their dignified existence, he underlined . Police crackdown as a punishment for dissent is nothing but a gross violation of fundamental rights.

Popular Front appeals to the courts of the country to immediately intervene to keep the state governments and law enforcement agencies in check. The government should expedite legal actions against those who made abusive comments against the Prophet. Popular Front also demands legal action on the Police officials who are responsible for ordering the firing which led to the death.

Human rights groups NCHRO  also condemned  the vengeful bulldozer policy of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.  It said instead of taking action against  NUpur Sharma and Naveen Jindal,  the BJP government in UP under Ajay Singh Bisht, also known as Yogi Adityanath, has decided to bulldoze the houses of the accused.

“The bulldoze-police has been used against anyone the BJP wants to silence, and is their tactic of intimidation. Needless to say, it is highly vengeful and has nothing to do with the constitutional way of dealing with such cases. Bulldozing a house also means everybody who lives in that house will become homeless. It is an attack on the entire family of an accused.”

Among the victims of this policy of bullzoding is Afreen Fatima, who is a student activist. She is a student at the Jawaharlal Nehru University and a former president of the students union of Women’s College, Aligarh Muslim University.

She was also active during anti-CAA/NRC protests in 2019-2020 at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, and organised Muslim women and has held protests against bans on hijab as well. Her family was detained without any warrant on June 10, 2022.

The NCHRO said  this  vengeful politics of hatred that the BJP has been practicing must be opposed radically. This is not the sign of a democratic country. These are signs of an authoritarian dictatorship, where anybody even with even suspicions of something will be attacked, and where even their families will be made victims.

It urged  every progressive organisation and individual to come forward against this.

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