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BJP is bringing laws against the Constitution, says Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra interacts with a girl while meeting with Muslim women who have been agitating against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens at Bilariyaganj in Azamgarh.

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra interacts with a girl while meeting with Muslim women who have been agitating against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens at Bilariyaganj in Azamgarh.   | Photo Credit: PTI

In Azamgarh, Congress leader met women who alleged police brutality during an anti-CAA protest

The laws that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to implement are “not just against one community but against the entire Constitution, and poor people”, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said on Wednesday in Azamgarh in the backdrop of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Ms. Vadra visited the eastern Uttar Pradesh city to meet a group of women who faced alleged police brutality last week while trying to stage a sit-in protest against the CAA and NRC in Bilariyaganj.

At least 20 persons were arrested and 35 named in the First Information Report, including the general secretary of the Rashtriya Ulema Council Tahir Madni, on charges of sedition, rioting, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy and 14 other points.

The protesters, comprising a large number of women, however, have accused the police of brutality without provocation, and of forcefully dispersing them with lathi-charge, leaving several persons injured.

Roadshow

After meeting the victims of alleged police action, Ms. Vadra took out a roadshow and slammed the U.P. Police for hitting protesters who were protesting peacefully.

Ms. Vadra assured the people that she would send a report to the National Human Rights Commission about the alleged police atrocities in Azamgarh, and name the police officers and personnel who had committed these atrocities.

“The Congress party stands by you today and will stand by you till you get justice,” she said through a hand-held loudspeaker stop her vehicle.

Azamgarh was the sixth U.P. district visited by Ms. Vadra to meet victims of alleged police action during the protests against the CAA-NRC. She earlier visited Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Varanasi and Lucknow.

‘Protect people’

The job of the police is to protect people, not hit them, she told the crowd gathered in Azamgarh.

Ms. Vadra said both the State and Central governments were against the poor and were trying to “break the Constitution”, and appealed to people to “come forward to save it [the Constitution]”.

Ms. Vadra also tried to reach out to the Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Dalits. “Some days ago, the BJP issued this statement in Uttarakhand — that reservation is not a Constitutional right,” she said. “The BJP spoke of breaking the Constitution even while in the Supreme Court.”

On the night of February 4, several women assembled at the Maulana Ali Jauhar Park in Bilariyaganj to protest against the CAA and NRC. At around 3 a.m./4 a.m. on February 5, police teams allegedly dispersed them using force, with a lathi charge, and the firing of tear gas and rubber pellets at them. Protesters alleged that the police also pelted bricks at the women. One woman, Sarvari Bano, was struck in the head by a brick allegedly thrown by the police and has been in an Intensive Care Unit since then.

A woman protester said the police “first started chasing the boys and men from all sides and beat them up, and then started throwing bricks at the women”.

‘Unprovoked aggression’

The women were protesting peacefully by reciting duas (prayers) and offering namaz at the site, said the protester, blaming the police for unprovoked aggression.

The Azamgarh Police, however, in a statement alleged that the protesters not only attacked them with sticks and bricks, but also used foul language against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and that they used anti-national and anti-government language.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 12:58:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bjp-is-bringing-laws-against-the-constitution-says-priyanka-gandhi-vadra/article30802176.ece

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