Lucknow: “We will file a defamation case against the Lucknow district administration as putting hoardings with names and addresses without someone's consent is a complete violation of basic human rights,” Muslim clerics from both Shia and Sunni sects said, after the city administration put up hoardings with photos and addresses of 53 anti-CAA protesters at prominent crossings across the city. The move by the administration has courted controversy.
The hoardings include pictures of Shia cleric Maulana Saif Abbas, retired IPS SR Darapuri and Congress leader Sadaf Jafar, all of whom were named as accused in the violence that swept the state capital on December 19 last year.
Speaking on the issue to News18, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali, a noted Sunni scholar and member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, said, “Several FIRs were registered and violence was also condemned by everyone. Many people went to jail and later released on bail. The matter is still subjudice in the court. People whose pictures are there on hoardings are residents of Lucknow. Many of them have a good reputation in the society.”
“The hoardings with their pictures give an impression that they are hardcore criminals. Putting their pictures with other details like address is a complete violation of basic human rights. It is giving a wrong message to the people. The Lucknow district administration should immediately remove these posters and abide by the court of law,” he said.
Maulana Saif Abbas, a Shia leader and cleric whose picture is also featured in the controversial hoarding, said, “We were helping tourists and we stood along with senior officials of the district administration on the day when the violence broke out. Now notices are being sent, but at least they should show me where I am pelting stone. It is very sad to know that even when I am yet to receive any kind of notice, my pictures are there on hoardings all over the city.”
“This makes it clear that administration is working under pressure of the government. I would like to make it clear that no one is afraid and demoralised by these hoardings. We firmly believe in the law and the Constitution of our country. We will surely take the legal way and will continue our fight against injustice. I would like to appeal to my friends and followers to firmly believe in our judicial system. Not a single stone was pelted in front of Bara Imambara where I was present, even SP City and Additional City Magistrate were present on the spot. This is all done due to petty politics and is very unfortunate,” he said.
Meanwhile, echoing similar concern, Kalbe Sibtain Noori, another person whose is featured in the hoardings across the city, said that they will take up the issue to the court.
“I and some other innocent people were presented as rioters by the government which doesn’t believe in law of the land at all. We went out to save some tourists and protested peacefully. The government should not think that we are demoralized, we will be going to Court and are hopeful to get justice,” Kalbe Sibtain Noori, who is also a son of Shia leader Kalbe Sadiq, said.
“People like Kapil Mishra and Anurag Thakur are roaming freely but innocent people are being framed. We don’t trust our police even now and that is why we will be going to court and also filing a defamation case against the district administration. We are fighting to save our democracy and such things will keep happening,” said Kalbe Sibtain Noori.
The Lucknow district administration on Thursday evening put up hoardings with photos and addresses of 53 anti-CAA protesters at prominent crossings across the city. The hoardings include pictures of Shia cleric Maulana Saif Abbas, Darapuri and Congress leader Sadaf Jafar, all of whom were named as accused in the violence that swept the state capital on December 19 last year.
Addressing the media, Lucknow District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash had said: “The hoardings of people who have been identified by the district administration for indulging in violent activities during the protest have been put up across the city. Around 100 such hoardings will be put up at several places and these will feature the pictures, names and addresses of people.
Also, people indulging in violence have been served recovery notices and if they don’t pay for the damages, then their properties will be confiscated.”
The Lucknow administration has assessed the damage to be worth Rs 1.55 crore. As per information, 10 people from Thakurganj area and six from Qaiserbagh area have been served recovery notices of over Rs 69 lakh till now. Shia cleric Maulana Saif Abbas and son of Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, Sibtain Noori, are also among the 16 who have been served notices.
The process of serving notices came soon after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath warned those who were involved in violence during demonstrations of “revenge” for the losses including damage of police motorcycles, barrier and sticks.
Large-scale violence was reported from UP over the Citizenship Amendment Act, which detractors have termed as “divisive” and “anti-Muslim”.