After BJP suffered a humiliating defeat in the Delhi Assembly elections, it started finding ways of disrupting law and order of the country to take the limelight away from the glorious victory of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Apart from orchestrating communal riots and anti-Muslim hate crimes all across the North East Delhi, BJP leaders also found novel ways to harass and subdue anti-CAA protesters.
Protesting against any government bill or legislation is the right of any citizen of a country and it is part and parcel of a healthy democracy but since BJP is averse to the idea of democracy itself, it doesn’t uphold the idea of protest on the roads either.
In order to name and shame the protesters, UP government in Lucknow put up roadside banners with photographs of people asked to pay compensation for damage to public property during anti-CAA protests, triggering outrage. The banners came up at major road crossings in Lucknow on the directions of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
In a breach of privacy, they bear photographs, names and addresses of those accused of vandalism during protests in December against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Some activists who figure in the posters have said they will go to court over the “public humiliation” when the charges against them are yet to be proved.
Apart from breach of privacy, there is also a threat of violence against those whose names and addresses have been publicly shared by the hooligans and bloodthirsty mobs that have already claimed many innocent lives in Delhi recently.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha, termed the action of Uttar Pradesh authorities as “highly unjust” and said it was an absolute encroachment on personal liberty of individuals. The court directed the district magistrate and divisional commissioner of Lucknow to get the posters/hoardings removed by March 16 and submit a report in this regard.
The court held that putting up the posters was “unwarranted interference in privacy of people”. Supreme Court also told the state government that there was no law as of now to let it put up hoardings of those accused of vandalism during the anti-CAA protests in Lucknow.
Samajwadi Party took the lead and put up banners of rape accused ex-Union minister Chinmayanand and Unnao rape convict Kuldeep Singh Sengar associated with BJP. He tweeted a picture of the banners which stand right next to those depicting 53 anti-CAA protesters, SP leader IP Singh said: “When protesters don’t have any privacy and even after the orders of High Court and Supreme Court, Yogi Government is not taking down hoardings. So I have also decided to put up some hoardings of named criminals, our daughters should be aware of them.”
The difference between the posters of the protestors and the posters of the BJP leaders is that no criminal offence has been proven against the protestors, they are being harassed without reason while ex-Union minister Chinmayanand and Unnao rape convict Kuldeep Singh Sengar have charges proven against them and they have been imprisoned as well.
Home Minister Amit Shah has given a clean chit to the Delhi police and said that the riots were pre-planned by the opposition. On the other hand, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury opened the discussion and questioned the government’s “inaction” and the reason for allowing Delhi to burn for three days without doing enough to control the violence. Chowdhury compared home minister Amit Shah with Emperor Nero and said, “When Rome was burning, Nero was playing the fiddle. He sat on a hillock watching the city burn as he wanted to build a palace of gold”.
While Delhi burnt, PM Modi was also busy in hosting Trump instead of containing the situation.