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UP govt restarts serving recovery notices to anti-CAA protesters, four PFI members served property attachment notices in Kairana

Syed Ali Ahmed | India Tomorrow

NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 12—The Uttar Pradesh police have re-started attaching properties of those who were active in anti-CAA protests in Lucknow and elsewhere in the state. The action for attaching properties was first started before the spread of coronavirus in the country and a few properties were attached. But it was stopped during COVID 19 lockdown after the suggestions of the Allahabad High Court in March.

The properties were attached under the UP Recovery of Damages to Public and Private property Ordinance 2020 promulgated by UP governor Anandiben Patel on March 15, 2020.

To begin with police in Uttar Pradesh’s Kairana town on August 31 put up property attachment notices at the houses of four members of the Popular Front of India in connection with an anti-CAA protest held in the town in December last year.

All four PFI members-Dr.Gufran, Dr.Munawar,  Ahmad, and Kari Abdul Wajid-are absconding.

Station House Officer of Kairana police Premvir Rana said a local court had issued the notices under Section 82 (attachment of property of person absconding) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and directed the accused to appear before it on September 25.

These PFI members are among 18 people who were booked for holding a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Kairana town of Shamli district on December 20 last year.

While 14 people have been arrested, the PFI members are absconding, the police said.

In a statement issued earlier, Popular Front of India Chairman OMA Salam, had termed “UP Police’s move to attach properties of anti-CAA protesters part of a vicious vendetta launched by the state government against those who protested against CAA and NRC in the state”.

He called upon all the democratic forces in the country “to voice against the collapse of the criminal justice system under Yogi (UP CM Yogi Adityanath)”.

He said that UP Police had started attaching people’s properties in the name of the vandalism during the anti-CAA protests. “This is part of the ongoing vendetta against political dissent in the state. Through such anti-democratic and violent measures, Yogi’s police seek to eliminate even the last straw of opposition in the state.  From the very beginning, Yogi Government and police have dealt people, who participated in the anti-CAA and NRC protest, with extreme force and vengefulness, characteristic of autocratic regimes”, Salam alleged.

The Enforcement Directorate has also registered cases against the PFI members on the allegation that the protest against CAA has financial link with the PFI. The agency has registered the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. It claims that at least Rs 120 crore were deposited in bank accounts in western Uttar Pradesh allegedly for funding anti-CAA protest in Western Uttar Pradesh. 

Besides PFI members, in Lucknow properties of Mohammad Nafees in Khurram Nagar, Dharamveer Singh and Maahenoor Chaudhary in Hazrat Ganj were attached. Nafees had welding shop, Dharamveer had garment shop (NY Fashion shop) and Maahenoor had junk food shop.

Earlier, the Lucknow administration had sent recovery notices worth about Rs 1.55 crores to over 50 people for the damages allegedly done by them during the anti-CAA protests. The administrations had issued recovery notices to 13 protesters for loss of properties worth Rs. 21.76 lakh I n Khadra area and 24 people were issued notices for recovery of Rs. 69.65 lakh in Parivartan Chowk area. As many as 10 people were given notices for recovery of Rs. 47.85 lakh in Thakurganj area and six others in Kaiserbagh for damage of properties worth Rs. 1.75 lakh.

Congress leader and social activist Sadaf Jafar, retired IPS officer S R Darapuri and human rights activist Mohammad Shoaib, all from Lucknow, are also among those having been served recovery notices.

According to reports, more than 200 persons in Kanpur, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Sambhal, Rampur, Bijnor and Bulandshahr have also been served recovery notices for damage of public and private properties during anti-CAA agitation.

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