The families of retired IPS officer and activist S R Darapuri (77), and Congress worker and activist Sadaf Jafar (44) have alleged that Lucknow administration officials visited their houses and allegedly threatened to seize their properties if they fail to pay for damages to public properties which occurred during an anti-CAA protest on December 19. Neither activist was at home during the visit.
An official of the administration denied the claim of Jafar’s and Darapuri’s families, and clarified that the visit was meant to remind them that the deadline to pay for the damages was over.
The activists are among 57 people in Lucknow accused of vandalism during protests and asked to pay Rs 1.55 crore in damages, failing which their properties will be seized. Jafar was arrested on December 19 and Darapuri on December 20. They were later released on bail.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Darapuri’s grandson Siddharth said, “On Friday, around 20 officials came to our house and started to threaten us. They asked us where Darapuriji is. My grandfather was not here. They said that they will seize the property where we live in. They video-graphed our house, cars and the conversation my uncle had with the officials.”
The following day, another team visited the house and enquired about “my grandfather’s whereabouts”, said Siddharth. “They said they will confiscate our house if Darapuriji does not meet them. We have responded to all the notices, whereas the administration has not responded to any of our replies. My grandmother is severely ill and has more than one comorbidity. If they evict us, where will we go during the pandemic?” he said.
Jafar said that a team of police and administration officials visited her house in Gomti Nagar area on Saturday afternoon. “They intimidated and threatened my children and video-graphed the interaction,” she said.
Naib Tehsildar (Kakori) Mahima Mishra, who visited both houses, told The Indian Express the officials neither threatened nor misbehaved with the families. “We visited because they had been served notices and the time given to them is now over. We video-graphed the conversation so that no one can accuse us of anything,” said Mishra.
In an order in February, the Lucknow administration had asked 28 people to pay for damages worth Rs 63,37,637 in Hazratganj area during an anti-CAA protest on December 19. A total of 57 people are supposed to pay Rs 1.55 crore for alleged vandalism, failing which their properties will be seized, the administration had said.
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