Muslims in a village in Uttar Pradesh have fled a village in Bahraich district after cops falsely booked 200 of them under the dreaded anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The law is usually reserved for those posing threats to the country’s sovereignty and integrity, but it was slapped against the Muslims of Khair village for allegedly clashing with Hindus during a religious procession on 20 October.
After the alleged clash, a Hindu resident, Ashish Kumar Shukla, filed an FIR against 60 named Mulims and 100-200 unnamed people. In his FIR, filed at Baundi police station, Shukla sensationally alleged that Muslims were armed with pistols, bombs and swords as they allegedly attacked the procession. He also claimed that the clash had left 50-60 unidentified people injured, reported Indian Express.
The Indian Express report also quoted the local police as saying that they had arrested 19 people in connection with the case. The cops, however, confessed to invoking the UAPA wrongly against the village Muslims adding that they will drop it from the FIR.
“There was a clash between Muslims and Hindus, but police registered FIR only against us. No FIR was lodged against people in the procession who engaged in brick-batting and attacked our houses and shops. Police are harassing us,” alleges 63-year-old Jaituna. “All youths left home after the police started raiding our houses. Those who were found were arrested. My sons Ramzan Ali (30) and Nankau (28) are in jail,” says Jaituna, who is left with two daughters-in-law and 10 grandchildren was quoted by the newspaper.
The cops are also accused of breaking open the houses owned by Muslims, who were named in the FIR. They did so even when the women and children were inside, claimed local residents.
Uttar Pradesh is ruled by BJP with Yogi Adityanath as its chief minister. Adityanath, who founded Hindutva militant outfit Hindu Yuva Vahini before becoming the chief minister, is known for his hatred for Muslims.