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Allahabad HC hearing in ‘name and shame’ case postponed

Prayagraj: The Allahabad High Court has postponed the hearing of the case related to naming and shaming of anti-CAA protesters till 3.0 p.m. on the request of the Uttar Pradesh government.

The initial hearing in the case was scheduled at 10 a.m.

The court of Chief Justice Govind Mathur has taken up the case on his own (suo motu).

Asking if the government was not encroaching on personal space and liberty of citizens, the Chief Justice expressed hope that corrective action would be taken before the hearing begins in the afternoon.

The hoardings, carrying the addresses and photos of the accused, were put up at prominent intersections in Lucknow.

Those named were asked to pay for damage to public property during the protests in Lucknow, in which one person had died. The hoardings also say if the accused fails to pay up, their properties would be attached.

Individual property attachment notices to many of the accused have already been served by the government.

The hoardings in Lucknow were put up on instructions of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a source in the Chief Minister’s Office said on condition of anonymity.

On Friday, sources in the Chief Minister’s Office sent an unsigned two-page note justifying the hoardings. They said they were put up keeping larger public interest in mind and after following all rules.

Among those named in the hoardings are activist-politician Sadaf Jafar, lawyer Mohammed Shoaib, theatre personality Deepak Kabir and former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer SR Darapuri.

All of them are out on bail and have said they will contest in court any move by the government to attach their property.

Calling the government’s move unethical, Sadaf Jafar said, “I’m not absconding… It’s pathetic to put our names and addresses here.”

“We were arrested, assaulted, sent to jail and then given bail. Now this is a new tactic to put pressure on us. I got a recovery notice while in jail. I sent a letter via the jail superintendent asking how I could plead my case when I was in jail. I got no reply. No one listened to me and then they sent me a recovery order,” Deepak Kabir said.

Massive violence had broken out across Uttar Pradesh in December last year after protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act turned violent at many places. As part of the crackdown, thousands were arrested across the violence-hit districts in the state and charges of rioting and attempted murder were filed against them.

The police said at least 60 personnel were hit by bullets across the state while trying to control mobs. Questions have since been raised on the police action, including how the police in many areas appeared to have used excessive force.