Roadside banners in Lucknow carry photos of anti-CAA ‘vandals’, ask to pay compensation

07 Mar 2020 08:57:41
AUTHORITIES here put up roadside banners with photographs of people asked to pay compensation for damage to public property during anti-CAA protests, triggering outrage among those being named and shamed.
The banners came up at major road crossings in Lucknow late on Thursday night on the directions of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, an official said.

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Poster displaying photographs of those who have been identified to pay the compensation for vandalizing public properties during protests against CAA in Lucknow on Friday. (PTI)
They bear photographs, names and addresses of those accused of vandalism during protests in December against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Some activists who figure in the posters have said they will go to court over the “public humiliation” when the charges against them are yet to be proved.
Opposition parties, including the Samajwadi Party and the Congress, lashed out at the BJP Government for branding the protestors guilty.
A Government spokesman said the posters have been up on the Chief Minister’s directive at important intersections, including the main crossing in the busy Hazratganj area and in front of the Assembly building.
He said the people on the posters are those who had damaged public property under the pretext of protests, and notices have already been issued seeking compensation from them.
The posters say that property of the accused will be confiscated if they fail to pay the compensation. Activist-politician Sadaf Jafar, who is among those whose photos appear on the posters, termed the move unethical and vowed to take legal recourse.
“How can we be publicly humiliated for something that has not yet been proved in court,” she said. “This is not Afghanistan. Legal issues cannot be brought into public like this. Our bail order says there is no adequate evidence against us,” Jafar told PTI.
She was arrested after the violence in Lucknow and later granted bail. “We are not absconding,” she said, adding that they have appeared before the court and police whenever asked.
“Why are we being targeted like this? Did they put up posters of Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi at all airports? Had they done it they would have not fled with the country’s wealth,” she said, referring to the two absconding businessmen.
Former IPS officer, S R Darapuri claimed that the move is illegal. “Our life, property and freedom have been put in jeopardy by putting up these posters and our reputation has been damaged,” he said.
Darapuri added that he is writing to the state home secretary, director general of police and police commissioner, telling them that if they faced any trouble because of the posters, it would the administration’s responsibility. “We will challenge it in court collectively and demand the immediate withdrawal of the posters as well as action against the officials responsible for it,” Darapuri said.
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