People whose names, photographs and addresses were put up on posters in Lucknow have welcomed the order of the Allahabad High Court which issued directions to Lucknow District Magistrate and Police Commissioner to remove the banners.
They said the rule of law will now prevail in UP instead of the “lawlessness” of the Yogi Adityanath government. Claiming that enough damage has already been done, they said they are happy the government will not be able to do the same to others.
However, the UP government said that it will continue the fight to “highlight the identity of rioters”. The district administration had put up the banners on Thursday night with the names and addresses of 57 people whom it had earlier held responsible for damage to property during the anti-CAA protests in Lucknow on December 19. The banners sought an amount of Rs 1.55 crore in damages, warning that properties will be seized if the money is not deposited. Retired IPS officer S R Darapuri, among those mentioned in the posters, said, “The government action of installing banners was illegal. We believe that the Yogi government will now put an end to their wrong activities. The court order is a victory of democracy over autocracy.”
Darapuri said that he wrote a letter to UP’s Home Secretary and DGP about the “illegal” action. “I wrote that you have created a danger to our life and liberty and if anything happened to us then you will be held responsible for it. I requested them to immediately remove those banners,” said Darapuri, who retired from UP Police in 2003 as Inspector General. He said enough damage has been done to those mentioned in the posters as they are receiving threats through social media.
Social activist and Congress leader Sadaf Jafar, whose photo was also in the poster, said, “The HC order reinforces my faith in the Constitution and judiciary of the country. It is a clear message to the state government that the state would be run by the rule of law.” She alleged the government wanted to humiliate and put their lives in danger through the banners. “It is now important that they would not do this to other people after the High Court direction,” she said.
Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, who is the chairman of the Rihai Manch that was formed to seek justice for innocent Muslims framed in terror cases, said, “The government wanted to threaten and defame us by putting up banners… Passing the order… the court has upheld its responsibility.”
Meanwhile, CM Yogi Adityanath’s media advisor Mrityunjay Kumar tweeted, “Dangaiyyon ke poster hataney ke High Court ke aadesh ko sahi paripeksh mai samajhne ki jaroorat hai. Sirf unkey poster hatengey, unkey khilaaf lagi dharaaye nahi. Dangaiyyon ke pehchaan ujaagar karney ki ladai hum aagey tak ladenge. Yogi raj mai dangaiyyon se narmi asambhav (The High Court’s direction to remove poster of rioters needs to be understood in the right context. Only their posters will be removed, not the charges against them. We will continue the fight to highlight the identity of rioters. Mercy for rioters is not possible under Yogi raj).”
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