Coronavirus outbreak: Is Uttar Pradesh govt seeking revenge on CAA protesters during pandemic?

Alphonse Joseph

New Delhi, MAr 28: In a shocking turn of events, an incident that talks about abuse of power during the nationwide 21- day lockdown has come to light in Uttar Pradesh.

On March 23, Uttar Pradesh Police arrested Dr Ashish Mittal when state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had imposed a lockdown. According to reports, the doctor, who was one of those supporters of the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests had received warnings from the state police to get the protest in Mansoor Park area of Prayagraj stopped.

However, it is alleged that two days after his arrest, the Uttar Pradesh police slapped the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, against the doctor and another activist Umar Khalid, who was also put in police custody.

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Meanwhile, the residents alleged that the Act has gives special powers to officials to penalise and arrest persons in the interest of controlling an epidemic disease.

With the Uttar Pradesh government making several attempts to remove the protesters from the protest site, CM Adityanath's government has been brutal against the protesters who have largely been staging sit-ins peacefully against the CAA.

It is also said that during the doctor's arrest, the women protestors had taken adequate precautions and had reduced in numbers to prevent the spread of the novel virus.

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Demanding the doctor's immediate release, the AIKMS said the Uttar Pradesh government's action is brazen and under the pretext of containing a pandemic it was suppressing the voices of those people who have been at the forefront of exposing its corruption and high-handedness.

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