160 Arrests Under NSA In One Year Of Adityanath’s Rule, Muslim Poor Targeted, Activist Says ‘Part Of BJP Policy To Rule Through Terror’
Locals believe that arresting Muslims under NSA is a part of "Sangh Parivaar's" preparation for 2019 elections.
In one year of Yogi Adityanath’s rule in Uttar Pradesh, a total of 160 people have been arrested under the draconian law National Security Act (NSA). This is in addition to the that have took place in just 10 months of Yogi’s rule, independent journalist Neha Dixit reported.
Even though the Adityanath claimed that not a single incident of communal violence occurred since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2017, the Union home ministry statistics state otherwise. According to the home ministry’s report presented in the Parliament, among all states in the country, UP accounts for the highest number of incidents of communal violence and related deaths.
According to an investigation reported in The Wire, in 2017, 44 people were killed and 540 injured in communal clashes in UP.
Furthermore, even though radical Hindu outfits like Hindu Yuva Vahini, Hindu Samaj Party and Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha were the ones accused of involvement in the communal violence, those arrested under NSA were only Muslims.
Rajiv Yadav, an activist from Rihai Manch, an advocacy group, told The Wire, “This is a Manuwadi trend. The RSS and Hindu Nationalist parties do not think of Muslims and Dalits as part of the Hindu rashtra project. Before the 2019 elections, the NSA is being imposed selectively to show them as a threat to national security and consolidate vote banks locally on communal lines.”
The Wire met families of 15 people detained under NSA by Adityanath’s government. Interestingly, all the accused were granted bail by the sessions court but were immediately booked under NSA by the UP police.
Locals believe that arresting Muslims under NSA is a part of “Sangh Parivaar’s” preparation for 2019 elections.
Ravi Nair of the South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre (SAHRDC), told The Wire, “Preventive detention is bad in law. India is one of the few countries that uses laws like this. It is mostly used by dictatorships. Even quasi-democratic countries review preventive detention laws in parliament every few years. India doesn’t do that.”
SAHRDC has done extensive research on NSA and according to its findings, the police uses NSA when it is “unwilling or unable to make an appropriate criminal case under the strictures of constitutional and statutory law.”
Nair continued, “Most catch-all laws like the NSA do not follow any due process. The only clause that has not been ratified till date since the introduction of the law is that the advisory board review NSA cases should have judicial officers. Right now, the advisory boards only have revenue officers who have no training in the judiciary or the law.”
Nair said that most people arrested under the draconian law are poor. “There have been several NSA cases in Bihar, Telangana and Orissa where NSA has been used mostly against tribals or the vulnerable. These are people who have no access to the advisory committees because of lack of resources. And state legal aid such as those in Uttar Pradesh are nonexistent.”
S.R. Darapuri, a retired IPS officer believes that slapping NSA on marginalised communities is the Hindutva project being carried out by chief minister of UP. “Chief minister Yogi has turned Uttar Pradesh into a police state. This is because he lacks administrative experience. The claim of Yogi Adityanath’s government to control crime has been proven wrong. For the first time in Indian history, this law is being misused so much. This is part of the BJP policy to rule through terror. They are using the police as their power arm to overawe the Dalits and minorities. If there are clashes like those in Bahraich, Barabanki, Azamgarh and Kanpur, the police proceedings should be against both parties but that hasn’t happened deliberately,”he said.