In a development that reinforces faith in the law and order system in the Yogi Adityanath led Uttar Pradesh, the UP police has registered FIRs, across five police stations, against 850 persons who were part of violent protests in Meerut. These protests turned violent while protesting Tabrez Ansari’s death in Ranchi. The procession intended to demand martyr status for Tabrez Ansari but the protesters were denied permission to carry out the procession. However, they went ahead with the procession anyway.
This was the second such incident in Meerut district where the protests turned violent as stone pelting intensified and the mob clashed with the police. The police attempted to disperse the mob by carrying out lathicharge. FIRs have been filed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the National Security Act (NSA) will also be invoked through identification of violent protesters from cell phone recorded videos available to the Police. The local administration also shut internet services for 24 hours to prevent rumour mongering on social media.
A local outfit called Yuva Sewa Samiti had also sought permission to take out a march but was denied permission as Section 144 of the CrPC was in place, which prevents unlawful assembly of more than four persons. The YSS carried out the march anyway without permission to protest the Tabrez Ansari’s death.
Tabrez was accused of being a bike thief and was beaten up by a mob after which he was put behind bars. Four days later, on the 22nd of June, 24 year old Tabrez Ansari fell ill while in judicial custody and succumbed to a cardiac arrest.
There were similar protests in Agra and Meerut earlier this month where ‘peaceful’ protests turned violent with stone pelting and damage to public property apart from heated communal disturbances. Muslim clerics have largely been unwilling to comment on the nature of these protests.
A protest in Ranchi also turned violent as stone pelting intensified and a bus full of college students was also attacked by the mob. Knives have been reported to be used in these protests, including an incident where one Vivek was allegedly asked his name before he stabbed by some of the protesters.
“We will not allow a recurrence of what happened in Agra and Meerut earlier this week. No congregation will be allowed without prior permission. We have asked the police chiefs to speak to religious leaders and ensure that the situation remains under control,” a senior police officer in UP said.
FIRs filed against 850 violent protesters in a heated communal incident in Meerut sets a strong precedent for the police in other states while handling communally charged violent incidents. It restores a common law-abiding citizen’s faith in the law by reassuring that belligerent mob led violent protests under the garb of peaceful protests would not go unpunished, at least not in CM Yogi Adityanath ‘s Uttar Pradesh.
The Yogi Adityanath led Uttar Pradesh government is known for its zero tolerance approach towards lawbreakers. However, the bravado of the Yogi government is exceptionally notable when prevention of and crackdown on communal violence is concerned.