Rights Watchdog Calls for India to Drop Charges Against Peaceful Protesters

FILE – Police detain an activist during a protest demanding the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah following clashes between people demonstrating for and against a new citizenship law in New Delhi, India, March 2, 2020.Though protests were broken up after the government imposed a lockdown in response to the coronavirus outbreak, authorities have subsequently begun arresting protesters and filing charges of sedition, murder and terrorism under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), HRW said.  In March, Union Home Minister Amit Shah denied allegations of bias, arguing that critics were trying to politicize the riots and assured the public that the authorities would be fair in their prosecution of those responsible for the violence. “It is the opposition’s right to question. But when the police were trying to control the riots, struggling with violence, we should understand,” Shah said. “We are using face identification to find the accused. It is a software so it does not differentiate on the basis of religion.”  Despite Shah’s claims, critics maintain that authorities’ actions are unjust and that CAA protesters are being unfairly targeted. “Instead of locking up people who dare to speak out against discriminatory government policies, the authorities should listen to their legitimate fears and grievances,” Ganguly said. “The government has repeatedly said that minorities in India have nothing to fear, and the authorities should put actions to those words.”  

June 16th, 2020 by
your ad here