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Group of ten anti-CAA protesters arrested in U.P.

Members of Team Nagarik Satyagraha during their march. Photo: Twitter/@NagrikSatyagrah

Members of Team Nagarik Satyagraha during their march. Photo: Twitter/@NagrikSatyagrah  

They were on the ninth day of a march by foot from Chauri-Chaura near Gorakhpur to Rajghat in Delhi

A group of ten students and activists, including a female journalist, have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur district while they were on a foot march against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), police said on Wednesday.

While the police have accused them of misleading people on the issue of CAA and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), friends of those arrested said they were baffled after a local Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) court issued them notices for bail bonds of ₹2.5 lakh each, and two Gazetted persons per individual as guarantors.

Foot march

The students, mostly associated with the Banaras Hindu University, along with the journalist and social activists, were leading a foot march from Chauri-Chaura near Gorakhpur to Rajghat in Delhi. On the ninth day of the march, after completing 250 km, the ten persons were arrested in Ghazipur under Sections 107/16/151 of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) and sent to jail on Tuesday, said Team Nagrik Satyagraha, the organisers.

Those arrested were identified as Pradeepika Saraswat, who is a journalist, Manish Sharma, Sheshnarayan Ojha, Priyesh Kumar Pandey, Anant Shukla, Atul Yadav, Neeraj Rai, Raj Abhishek, Ravidnda Kumar Ravi and Murari Kumar. They are aged 25-30 years.

The SDM court of Ghazipur Sadar issued a notice to the ten accused persons asking them why they should not appear before it and submit the bonds to maintain peace and order.

‘Instigating locals’

The ten have been accused of holding the padhyatra without seeking permission and allegedly “instigating and misleading” locals against the CAA and NRC, the order notes. Their alleged acts could breach public peace and cause “disaffection”, the order added.

There are “enough grounds” to act against them under CrPC 107/116, the SDM said in the order shared by Team Nagrik Satyagraha with this paper.

The ten have been sent to 14 days judicial custody.

Team Nagrik Satyagraha described the SDM order as “bizarre”.

“Why will a government officer take someone’s bail when he works under the same government? This is an attempt to further suppress democratic rights of citizens,” said the group. “They even have problem with people who are spreading idea of Gandhi and telling to stay away from Hindu-Muslim fight (sic),” the statement added.

While the Station House Officer of the Virano Police Station confirmed the arrests of the ten persons, he did not comment on the notices issued by the SDM. The SDM did not respond to phone calls.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 12:40:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/group-of-ten-anti-caa-protesters-arrested-in-up/article30803673.ece

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