Lucknow: Amid clashes over Citizenship Amendment Act, families in Bijnor’s Nehtaur allege that the police have vandalized their homes, harassed their women, and threatened their children to disclose the location of the male members of their families. They are forced to leave their places.
Nehtaur in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor district is barely 150 km away from the Indian parliament where the controversial amendment to the Citizenship Act was passed on December 11 allowing Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Jain and Christians, who faced religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who came to India before December 2014, to apply for citizenship. The Muslims from these countries have been excluded from this process.
Over 10 people have been arrested by the police, 60 have been named as accused and over 3000 unknown persons have been mentioned in FIRs after clashes erupted between police and protesters in Bijnor.
The locals allege that after clashes over the CAA, the UP Police has been vandalizing their homes, harassing women and threatening their children to disclose the location of the male members of their families.
As reported by India Today, in one of the houses, the washbasin, bathroom, bed, furniture, fridge, utensils and other items were broken and strewn all over. When we asked a neighbor what had happened, he said, “We are being targeted because we are Muslims. 8-10 policemen come to our homes asking about the men in our family. If we tell them that we are not aware, they abuse us, harass the women and threaten the children.”
The neighbor, on condition of anonymity, also said, “The police have told us that FIRs have been filed against more than 3,000 unnamed people in connection with the violence on Friday. If they come to know that I have spoken, my family members will be picked, beaten up and framed by them.”
Muslims leave their homes
Five other houses in the same area were locked and if neighbors are to be believed, families have abandoned their homes over the fear that the police will come back and harass them.
Just a few meters away, in another house, the TV set, bathroom, utensils, furniture and other items were allegedly broken by the police.
At least eight other families, who live in the same area, have also left their homes over fear of police brutality.
“The people are scared after the recent conduct of the police — the way the policemen have treated the women, children and vandalized homes. The police have mentioned thousands unknown in FIRs and families fear that if they speak against police they will be named and arrested,” said a local resident Hamid Salmani.