UP police enters homes, brutally attacks people for allegedly violating lockdown!

An FIR has been registered against 150 people and 43 people have been booked under Sec 144 of CrPC

LockdownImage Courtesy:nationalheraldindia.com

Reports of police brutality are coming in from Uttar Pradesh where police personnel allegedly attacked various people in the Karampur Chaudhury village in the state’s Bareilly district in a bid to enforce the lockdown in the area.

Videos of the police brutally beating up men with lathis and arresting women are making the rounds. The Bareilly police can also be seen going through the village threatening people that if they came out of their homes, they would face dire consequences for the same.

The version of the incident according to the police

Various print and electronic media have carried the news in which the police’s version is this. Senior police officer Ravindra Singh told the media, “Several booked for attacking policemen enforcing lockdown in UP’s Bareilly today. Later a mob of around 200 people created a ruckus at the police station. IPS Abhishek Verma and some other police personnel have sustained injuries in the attack. We have taken some people into custody and booked them under Section 144 of CrPC, relevant sections of the IPC.”

He further added that the police had videos of the incident and that they would punish the people involved in the incident based on those videos. He said, “We have videos of the incident and we will identify the people involved in this. We have identified a few of them, rest will be identified and punished. We will deal with hooliganism strictly.”

India TV spoke to IPS Abhishek Verma who was injured in the incident. He said, “Our police team had gone to the Karampur Chaudhary village and was making people aware of the lockdown rules. They then found some people sitting outside and when the police told them to return to their homes, they got agitated and the Pradhan then reached the police station with a crowd of about 200 people and gheraoed it in a bid to set it ablaze. That is when I and other officers were informed. We reached the site and even after telling them to disperse, they didn’t, which is why we had to use slight force on them.”

On being asked who he thought was behind the incident, he said that primarily it was the Pradhan of the village who seemed to be the perpetrator after he got 300 – 400 people to attack the police.

In another police briefing, the SSP Shailesh Pandey said that a group of around 70 – 80 people had attacked the police station. He said, “Our team had gone to Karampur Chaudhury where they saw some boys violating the lockdown and the police team asked them to leave the site and return home. Post that some instigated 70 – 80 people from the village and got a boy to the police station saying that the police had beaten him up. Post that we conducted the boy’s medical check-up and it was confirmed that he hadn’t sustained any injuries. Post this the teams of other stations came and used adequate force to disperse the people. 43 people were arrested and we have taken videos of the incident. Whoever is found to be responsible, will not be spared and booked under serious charges.”

On April 7, NDTV reported that and FIR was registered against 150 people for allegedly attacking the police team. Out of this, 42 people were arrested, out of which three women were released on bail.

Activists paint a different picture

However, Sabrang India spoke to Sadaf Jafar, a political activist who has earlier been unjustly targeted and attacked by the UP police about the incident. Sadaf said, “The UP police is still reeling from the anger of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens protest. It couldn’t do much then because the women were at the forefront of the agitation. The UP police is communal. The videos I have seen versus the videos that are making the rounds on the news, have a lot of discrepancy between them. The police has said that they were provoked by the people to conduct a lathi charge. They also said that they had conducted a medical check-up of the boy.”

Recounting her brutal assault by the UP police in jail she said, “I know what medical check-ups by the police are like. Medics are always pro-police in such matters. If the crowd had still gheraoed the police it station, it can only mean that the police had in fact beaten up the boy. Now 43 people have been arrested under the National Security Act (NSA). This is a huge amount of people arrested, especially when the police is decongesting jails by releasing prisoners on parole due to the coronavirus outbreak.”

“If there is such a dire situation in the country due to Covid-19, why has the UP Police caught so many people and put them in jail? Also, the videos of the police that have come to light where they are saying ‘Police walon pe hamla kar rahe ho? Himmat hai toh aa jao. Ek bhi aa jaao’ (You’re attacking the police? If you have the guts, come out, even one of you come out), while patrolling the lanes, does it sound like an advisory or a threat?”

On being asked if the whole incident was being given a communal colour, Sadaf said, “Earlier, I saw the reports on Facebook where some reporters had put up the videos saying that the Tablighis are not changing their ways and this is what the police was doing to control them. This is how they are giving the incident a communal colour. Now, in the name of coronavirus, they are getting a chance to demonise the Muslims. This has been going on for such a long time. Even me, along with the people whose names appeared on the posters in Lucknow post the anti-CAA NRC protests, were called worse than the coronavirus. This just shows how much hatred they have for the Muslim community.

“What the Tabhligi Jamaat did was unjustifiable and criminal, but criminalizing the rest of the people is unjustified too. The police in Bareilly look like they’re out for blood, for an encounter. Why did they lathi charge the women? How bad was the crime that they were booked under the NSA?” she asked.

“The entire onus of the coronavirus fiasco is on the Tablighi Jamaat now. No one will talk about the shortages of PPEs, less testing and no facilities for patients suffering from other ailments in hospitals. This is how communal the issue is. The poor are left to die as they can’t avail treatment in private hospitals. These deaths, if any, will not be counted in the coronavirus death count. No one cares about their lives. The police and the administration are only serving the upper class.”

While those working on the frontlines to ensure that the lockdown regulations are followed peacefully, the brutality of the UP police on the men and women, especially in such circumstances, by going to people’s homes and allegedly charging them with batons is just a reflection of the hatemongering, blood thirsty mentality of the administration.

Activists have also sent CJP these videos that show the police entering homes and not even sparing women, using their lathis to beat them up.




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