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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 36, New Delhi, August 22, 2020

Condemnation of attempt by UP Government to suppress Right to Freedom of Expression - Press Release by Socialist Party, India | August 17, 2020

Friday 21 August 2020

Socialist Party (India)
Lohia Bhawan, Narhi, Lucknow 226001, India

PRESS RELEASE | प्रेस विज्ञप्ति | 17 August 2020

Condemnation of attempt by UP Government to suppress Right to Freedom of Expression

उत्तर प्रदेश में अभिव्यक्ति की स्वतंत्रता को कुचलने की कोशिश की निंदा

The act by Uttar Pradesh police to put a lock outside the Aam Admi Party office in Lucknow is an indication of its insecurity and Socialist Party (India) condemns this action. The UP government seems to have been unsettled by comments made by AAP Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh. Sanjay Singh had described the absence of President Ram Nath Kovind from the foundation laying ceremony for Ram temple in Ayodhya on 5th August as Bhartiya Janata Party’s anti-Dalit character. Because of this he was complimented by Dalit and Other Backward Caste leaders. Leader of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party, which was in alliance with BJP during Narendra Modi’s first term as Prime Minister, Om Prakesh Rajbhar even gave an indication of a future alliance of his party with AAP. Sanjay Singh also said that there was anarchy in the state. Police had no control over criminals and government had lost control over police.

If we consider the incidents in state over recent past, abduction of Sanjit Yadav on 22 June in Kanpur, payment of Rs. 30 lakhs as ransom by his relatives to abductors in the presence of police but his murder even before this payment was made and throwing his body in Pandu river, killing of 8 policemen on 3 July by Vikas Dubey and then killing of Vikas Dubey on 11 July and 6 of his colleagues in encounters with police, death of Sudiksha Bhati, student from United States who had returned home in Bulandshahar due to lockdown, on 10 August after an alleged incident of harassment as she fell from a motorcycle in Greater Noida, muder of former BJP president of district Bagpat Sanjay Khokhar on 11 August when he was on morning walk, slapping of SHO of Gonda police station in Aligarh by BJP MLA Rajkumar Sahyogi after he entered the police station with his supporters and ensuing scuffle after which the SHO was suspended and SP, Rural was transferred under the pressure of BJP MP Satish Gautam, murder of 12 years old Kartik on 13 August of Umarpur village in district Shamli and his naked body found in a field, on 14 August body of 13 years old girl found in a field in Pakariya village of Lakhimpur Khiri after rape and murder, muder of Dalit Gram Pradhan Pappu Ram of Basgaon village in Azamgarh by upper caste men and then an 8 year old boy crushed to death by a police jeep in the ensuing melee are just an indication that law and order has gone for a toss in UP.

An important reason why the law and order has failed in UP is because the government was busy targeting its political opponents by lodging false cases against them. Sending to jail after filing false cases against hundreds of people who were involved in anti-Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens movement, sending recovery notices to Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, UP state President of Socialist Party (India), spokesperson of All India People’s Front, S.R. Darapuri, Congress worker Sadaf Jafar and others for damage to public and private property during protests even before charges were proved in a court of law, sending UP Congress President Ajay Kumar Lallu to jail on charges of having provided false papers related to registration of some vehicles that his party had offered to UP government to transport migrant workers during lockdown, sending President of UP Congress minority cell Shahnawaz Alam to jail for his participation in anti-CAA protests, UP police travelled from Ayodhya to Delhi to serve notice to Wire editor Siddharth Varadarajan as he had raised question on UP government’s willingness to give nod to the Ram Navmi fair in Ayodhya amidst lockdown and now false cases against Sanjay Singh and putting lock on AAP office in Lucknow shows the priorities of UP government.

We condemn the attempt by UP government to curb fundamental right to freedom of expression by intiating actions to terrorise its political opponents. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath must understand that Ramraj will not come by building a temple in Ayodhya. As his ‘thok do’ (kill criminals in encounters with police) policy has quite clearly failed he needs to seriously think how his government can bring some semblance of law and order in the state by ending the prevalent anarchy.

Dr Sandeep Pandey, Vice President, Socialist Party (India) | Phone: 0522 2355978

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