Azamgarh CAA Protests: Renowned Islamic Scholar among 19 Charged with Sedition, Sent to Jail
AZAMGARH, UTTAR PRADESH, FEBRUARY 06— Renowned Islamic scholar Maulana Mohammad Tahir Madani and 18 other people were booked under sedition law and various sections of Indian Penal Code and sent to jail on Wednesday in Azamgarh, soon after police crackdown on an anti-CAA protest in Bilariaganj area of the Uttar Pradesh district.
Advocate Talha Amir, who is also counsel for Maulana Madani and others, said the police and district administration had taken 65-year-old Maulana Madani to the protest site to convince the protesters to wind up the protest because he is a respected personality in the area but later the police booked Maulana Madani himself and sent him to jail.
Police used services of Maulana Madani to convince protesters but later booked him also: Lawyer
“The protest started around 11 am on Tuesday when all of a sudden women started gathering at the Maulana Jauhar Ali Park in Bilariaganj. The police brought in Maulana Madani and in the presence of police and district officers he tried to convince the protesters for hours to wind up the protest but they did not budge. Around 3-4 AM, police used lathi-charge and teargas to disperse the crowd and later arrested several people including Maulana Madani,” said Adv. Talha Amir.
The local Police allegedly used lathi-charge and teargas firing to disperse the protesters, most of them were women, in the wee hours of Wednesday. Some of them were injured. The police claimed protesters hurled stones on the cops.
Soon after the crackdown on the protest, the police lodged an FIR against 35 name people including the Islamic scholar and a woman and 100 unnamed people under various charges, including rioting and attempt to murder. The police arrested Maulana Madani, author of several books, and 18 other people and sent them to jail on Wednesday.
The people were booked under 19 different sections of Indian Penal Code (IPS) including 124-A (sedition), 147 (rioting), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups), 504 (insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 307 (attempt to murder), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and under sections of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and CLA Act.
Reports say the protest against CAA started at Maulana Jauhar Ali Park in Bilariyaganj Tuesday afternoon. In the evening, as the crowd swelled police force came in buses and asked the protesters to vacate the place as they had allegedly not taken permission for the protest. The protesters refused to end their protest. Police first chased away the male protesters, then it filled the park with water. When the women protesters remained stick to ground, the police allegedly used lathi-charge and fired teargas shells to disperse the crowd.
Adv. Talha Amir said that locals had sought permission from the administration for the anti-CAA protest in December and also in the first week of January but they were denied the permission. On Tuesday (Feb 4), people, mostly women, began gathering at the Jauhar Park without any call and they wanted to hold a Shaheen Bagh-like protest here, said the lawyer.
The Police have admitted it fired teargas shells but denied lathi-charge.
हर मंच से गोली की बात करने वाले संवैधानिक मूल्यों की बात कब करेंगे?— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) February 5, 2020
शांतिपूर्वक धरना लोगों का संवैधानिक अधिकार है।आज़मगढ़ में पुलिस की बर्बरता ने सभी हदें पार कर दी और मैं इसकी घोर निंदा करता हूँ!
पार्टी के विधायक और संगठन बिलरियागंज में लोगों की सेवा कर रहे हैं! pic.twitter.com/FbPiup3hHs
“Six-seven tear gas shells were used on Wednesday morning. There was no lathi-charge…The rioters started pelting police with stones and also women sitting inside the park. Then, tear gas shells were used. The women got hurt because of stone-pelting by people who had gathered near the park,” Bilariyaganj Station Officer, Manoj Kumar Singh was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party chief and Lok Sabha MP from Azamgarh, Akhilesh Yadav has condemned the police action on the protesters and targeted Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath without naming him.
“हर मंच से गोली की बात करने वाले संवैधानिक मूल्यों की बात कब करेंगे? शांतिपूर्वक धरना लोगों का संवैधानिक अधिकार है।आज़मगढ़ में पुलिस की बर्बरता ने सभी हदें पार कर दी और मैं इसकी घोर निंदा करता हूँ! पार्टी के विधायक और संगठन बिलरियागंज में लोगों की सेवा कर रहे हैं! (When will those talking about bullet from every platfom talk about the constituaonl values. peaceful demonstration is constituioal right of people. the brutality of police in Azamgarh has crossed all limits. I condmen this. Our party MLA and workers are helping the people in Bilariaganj), tweeted Yadav Wednesday night.
National president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Syed Sadatullah Hussaini has also condemned the police crackdown on Azamgarh protesters and demanded withdrawal of sedition charges against them.
Now sedition charges against protesters & a respected scholar for protesting in #Azamgarh! UPPolice remove the hilarious charge and release them.Nobody believes the respected detainees to be seditious. Each minute you delay in their release will only enhance your notoriety.— Syed Sadatullah Hussaini (@sadathusaini) February 6, 2020
“Now sedition charges against protesters & a respected scholar for protesting in #Azamgarh! UP Police remove the hilarious charge and release them. Nobody believes the respected detainees to be seditious. Each minute you delay in their release will only enhance your notoriety,” tweeted Jamaat leader.
On December 19 and 20, the UP police had come down heavily on the anti-CAA protests in several districts of the state. More than 20 people were killed, mostly in police firing. Thousands were booked and several hundreds were arrested and sent to jail.