Kasganj violence: Anti-terror law enacted on 13 lower caste accused

Kasganj: The Kasganj violence which has been spiralled on January 26 in Uttar Pradesh led to 13 people arrested and cases were booked against them under Section 7 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

In the Kasganj Violence, one man was dead and three people were severely injured. Among the injured persons was Akram, who lost his eye.

Section 7 of the UAPA can only be invoked with the sanction of the central government.

What is more ironic is that all those who were booked under Section 7 of the UAPA belong to either OBC or Dalit community.

In addition to this section, other sections were also booked against the arrested persons.

According to the news reported in NewsClick.in which has accessed the FIR filed by the SHO Ripudaman Singh, the other sections under which they were booked include Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting and being armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 336 (endangering life or personal safety of others), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc.), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

Advocate Abu Bakr Sabbaq, national coordinator of the Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) told that “This shows how police officials, without following due process, book people under severe sections of the draconion law just with the aim to harass them.”

He further said that “a person can be charged under Section 7 of the UAPA only if his association with an outfit is declared unlawful by a notification issued under Section 3 and the Central government is satisfied – after an enquiry – that the person has custody of any money, securities or credits which are being used or are intended to be used for the purpose of the unlawful association.”

Kavita Krishnan, member of the central campaign team of the All India People’s Forum (AIPF) told that “We were told that youth were being indiscriminately arrested by the police and their religious and caste identity determined which sections they would be booked under. While Loda Rajputs and other upper caste Hindus are being booked under Section 151 and released on bail, the OBCs and Dalits have been charged under serious sections of the IPC and the UAPA. Muslims, in addition to the above sections, also have Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and in some cases 302 (murder) booked against them.”

Etah MP, Rajbir Singh (who belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party and whose inflammatory speech spiralled the violence) and VHP State President Pramod Jaju belong to the same Loda Rajput community.

Kavita’s allegations were confirmed by Rajvir Singh Yadav, whose Son Raj was also among those who were arrested, said that “On January 27, he and another compounder were closing the shutters of the clinic after being warned that it would not be safe to keep it open. In the meantime, the police arrived and picked up both of them. Raj has been booked under serious sections of the IPC and Section 7 of the UAPA has also been slapped against him, but his colleague – who is a Loda Rajput – was booked under Section 151 and got bail.”

Similarly, there were also other cases in which persons who had no connection to the violence were arrested.

Firoz said that his Son “Imran neither participated in the flag hoisting event organised at Veer Abdul Hamid Chowk (a trisection at Muslim-concentrated Baddu Nagar), nor in any violence whatsoever. Still, he was picked up and implicated by the police.”

Similarly, 65-year-old Nasiruddin – was at his shop when he was picked up by the police on January 28. His 16-year-old Son, who had been having a bath, was made to dress and was also taken away on the pretext of questioning. Later, he was also arrested. Both the father and son duo have been booked under Sections 302 and 307 among others, and jailed. These were confirmed by Mahiru and Mehak, daughters of Nasiruddin.