Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has refused to go easy on the rioters who spread violence under the garb of their opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act. In a move which is likely to send shivers down the spine of rioters, the UP government is now naming and shaming the rioters with a total of 100 hoardings being put up across the city of Lucknow.
The Lucknow district administration has started the process to shame as many as 57 people who have been identified for causing violence during the anti-CAA protests. A total of 100 hoardings with names and addresses of 57 persons have been put across the city.
Uttar Pradesh has largely remained calm even when Delhi simmered as the UP administration adopted a no-nonsense approach as it compelled the rioters to pay for the damage caused to public property.
Prior to putting up hoardings, the state administration issued recovery notices to these people for damaging public property worth Rs 1.55 crore. In case the rioters fail to pay the recovery amount, the properties of the accused would be confiscated by the UP Police.
As a result, in December 2019, residents of violence-hit areas of Bulandshahr handed over a demand draft of Rs 6.27 lakh to the district magistrate along with an assurance that such incident will not happen again in future. Senior officials called it a “voluntary act of repentance”.
When sporadic incidents of violence were reported in the state in December last year, Yogi Adityanath came out with a stern message as he said, “There is no place for violence in a democracy. In the name of opposing the CAA, the Congress, SP and Left parties have pushed the entire country to fire. There was violence in Lucknow and Sambhal and we will deal with it strictly. All properties of those involved in damaging public assets will be seized and auctioned to compensate for the losses. They have been captured in video and CCTV footage. We will take ”badla” (revenge) on them.”
The UP Police’s decision to make rioters pay for the damages caused to public property caused much heartburn among the liberal fraternity but little did the liberals realise that the UP Police was only following the orders of the Supreme Court.
The SC in its October 2018 observed that the state governments must make those responsible for damage to public property liable to compensate victims and reimburse the losses.
Last year on 15 December, things reached to a breaking point in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) as the UP Police had to enter the central university campus in order to curb anti-CAA violence.
The state administration it seemed had learnt its lesson from the Jamia violence and quickly quelled the violence at AMU despite the liberals outraging over the UP Police’s decision to enter the university premises.
Commenting on the incident, Yogi Adityanath said, “Police will not enter any university until the institution does not grant us permission. On December 15-16 at Jamia Millia University, violence was witnessed. A similar attempt was done at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and we stopped them from coming out of the institute. Now the case is being heard in the court which has asked the state Human rights department to file a report on the incident.”
He further added, “We have also told the university, that if there is a matter of law and order, then we will not hesitate to enter anywhere.”
The state administration was quick to response to the AMU violence as it wasted no time in issuing prohibitory notices to 4,000 people, restricting their movement and warning them of action if there was any trouble in Aligarh.
The police also issued notices to 200 people with a criminal background under Section 110 (G) of the CrPc and initiated process of the Goonda Act against 50 persons.
The police are making full use of CCTV footages and other videography’s to identify and initiate action against goons. Such acts are dealt with under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act of 1984.
Technology has also played a key role behind the UP Police’s success in dealing with the rioters. The police are using most modern equipment including facial recognition technology to recognize the anti-CAA protestors.
High profile protesters like former Uttar Pradesh Governor Aziz Qureshi were also not left, the Moradabad Police registered an FIR against him for the provocative speech at Idgah. There has not been a single incident in the state, where things went out of control in protest against CAA, despite a lot of inflammatory rhetoric used by anti-CAA politicians.
The decision to put hoardings is another brilliant move by the Yogi government which has seen its model of dealing with rioters being adopted by Karnataka and Delhi.