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New Delhi: Four men were arrested after Uttar Pradesh government gave the go-ahead to police to prosecute them over posters they put up against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens last year, which police had deemed ‘objectionable’, Indian Express has reported.
All four have received bail.
Police filed a charge sheet against the accused under sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.), 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 505(2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill will between classes).
The case against the four dates back to January 26, 2020. The four allegedly stuck posters in the Lalkurti area of Meerut, protesting against the CAA and NRC. Police have alleged that the posters contained objectionable remarks.
The Uttar Pradesh government and police’s attitude towards protesters agitating against the CAA and NRC since late 2019 had involved an allegedly brutal police crackdown and legislation to extract the cost of damage to public property from the alleged protesters.
In March this year, the Uttar Pradesh assembly passed two Bills, including one that relates to recovery of damages to public and private properties from protesters, amid opposition demands that it be referred to a select committee.
As The Wire has noted earlier, police in UP has been accused of using excessive force against those protesting against the CAA, particularly Muslims.
In the state, 22 people were killed during the protests, most in police firing.
A fact-finding report concluded that state police used ‘extreme torture’, including physical violence and sleep deprivation on anti-CAA protestors. It is also accused of detaining minors and torturing them in custody in Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar and Firozabad.