The Congress on Monday demanded a judicial inquiry into the “unlawful conduct” of UP police during violent protests against the amended citizenship law, saying it was not appropriate for a force duty bound to protect the rights of citizens.
In a 14-page memorandum to Governor Anandiben Patel, signed by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu, the party said the conduct of the police had been observed and reported to be “patently unlawful, destructive of the rule of law and repressive of honest citizens”.
“This is unbefitting of a force that is duty bound to safeguard and protect the rights of every citizen,” the memorandum stated.
It was handed over to the governor by Lallu and other senior party leaders. Priyanka Gandhi, who is in Lucknow, was, however, not part of the Congress delegation that went to Raj Bhawan.
“An impartial assessment of all cases filed on peaceful protestors and their validity be made with immediate effect by an independent commission under a sitting or retired high court judge and bail be granted forthwith to all those who have been wrongly charged and were not engaged in any unlawful or illegal act,” the memorandum said.
“Twenty three deaths have taken place in the state due to police excesses and police brutality against the CAA/NRC protestors. A full judicial inquiry is required into each and every one of these incidents to ascertain the culpability of the administration and the police and provide justice to the families of the deceased,” it said.
Officials maintained that the toll stood at 19.
The Congress also demanded that notices for confiscation of property, their sealing and other similar punitive actions be suspended till an inquiry by competent authorities is completed.
Any punitive action taken thereafter should be legally endorsed by a judicial authority to be appointed by the Supreme Court, the memorandum said.
It demanded that students participating in peaceful protests be assured they will not face academic or legal repercussions and their right to free expression will be protected and upheld by the law and the state.
The memorandum also referred to the brutal assault on woman party worker Sadaf Jafar and said she was arrested without any cause or reason.