The violence and vandalism that perpetrated in Uttar Pradesh for the past few weeks are terrifying, to say the least. In the big state of Uttar Pradesh, with a Muslim majority population, the unjust treatment of the Muslims in the wake of anti-CAA protests reminds us of the Gujarat Riots in 2002. What runs common between Gujarat in 2002 and Uttar Pradesh in 2020 is the ruling dispensation headed by the Bhartiya Janta Party. Accounts from the state have been terrifying signaling towards a complete collapse of the rule of law in the state. The involvement of the administration in the violence and vandalism is no more hidden but more of an established fact. The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, with a tainted history, came forward fearlessly to use words like ‘revenge’ from the protestors who have been involved in the vandalism of public property during the protests. In pursuance of the same, the state administration went ahead to serve recovery notices to poor Muslim families, with no further detail but an estimated amount. The legality of these notices is something yet to be answered by the legal luminaries of the country.
Starting from December 19, 2019, Uttar Pradesh witnessed the calls for many anti-CAA protests, however, none of them met the deserved fate in a democratic country. Before the people could find a voice for their resistance on the streets, the leaders and activists were detained only to be further arrested under arbitrary sections of the law. There have been targeted violence against the Muslim population of the state, not even sparing the women and children. Numerous deaths have been reported in the state, allegedly due to indiscriminate police firing, however, the number still remains unconfirmed. It has also come to notice that the post mortem reports of those who have been reported dead were not provided and the family was pressurized for hasty burials, as an attempt to destroy evidence. There are horrifying accounts of detention of minors, physical and sexual assault and torture, which majorly go unreported in the popular media. There has been a systematic attempt for denial of health care services and other facilities, further worsening the position of the victims of the causalities.
The affluent Muslim families in many districts of Uttar Pradesh were the target of vandalism, where police barged into their houses and broke all property, sparing none. It suggests towards a communalization of the police force, at the disposal of the ruling party’s ideology of a Hindu Rashtra. The state is crying for a judicial inquiry into the police brutality and justice for the victims. However, the top leadership of the country and the judiciary remain mum towards the situation. In a small victory, as one may say, the Allahabad HC took suo moto cognizance of the situation in the state. While it gives little hope to the people of the state, the deafening silence of the administration clearly points towards a state-led conspiracy. When the state itself becomes the perpetrator, bringing towards its realm, the police force where does an ordinary citizen go for justice?