Monday, 30th October 2017

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UP rules without laws

The BJP has not reigned in its CM that calls for 'revenge' on the people of his state

  • Published 23.01.20, 12:18 AM
  • Updated 23.01.20, 12:18 AM
  • a min read
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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath PTI

A chief minister who promises revenge on people of his own state is a rarity. Perhaps even more ominous was this chef minister’s exultant defence of violent police action on protesters against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens, that every ‘rioter’ is shocked, and all those who protested are crying because of strict action by Yogi Adityanath’s government. These statements represent an uprooting and overturning of every principle of governance in a civilized country. What happened in Uttar Pradesh after its chief minister’s promise of revenge may not have been unexpected, because Adityanath reigns by imposing his own lawless rules and has never been questioned by his bosses at the Centre; it is unacceptable. The police, inspired by the chief minister’s desire for ‘revenge’, systematically went after members of the minority community, protesters or not, and activists, beating them up, allegedly firing on them, filing false reports, damaging property apparently to blame it on protesters who would have to pay or have their assets auctioned — no law is required — and entering homes to destroy all assets and beat up residents, often the youngest ones, after having broken CCTVs first.

It will be difficult to laugh these charges off as lies after the visits of fact-finding teams and the observations of the “people’s tribunal” conducted in Delhi by retired judges of the Supreme Court, one of the Delhi High Court, academics and civil servants. The conclusion of the ‘jury’ was that there is a complete breakdown of law and order in UP, with the government perpetrating violence on its own people. The inhumanity of the UP administration’s approach is best exemplified in the refusal of its representatives to allow ambulances to ply. This is unthinkable even in the midst of war. People died also because hospitals, frightened of the government, would not admit them. The question is, would Adityanath wish to laugh off the charges or would he like to claim them with pride? It must be remembered that the Central Bharatiya Janata Party leadership has never reigned in a chief minister who only knows force — without law — whether it is in love jihad, cow vigilantism or countless ‘encounter’ deaths. Is this, then, the way the BJP wants the states to be ruled?