UP Govt’s ‘name to shame’ hoardings violate Child Rights law

By Kulsum Mustafa

Lucknow: In a hurry to carry out the orders of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, against the anti- CAA protestors in the state, the district administration appears to be falling over their knees and violating all rules and laws with impunity. The latest in the series of their disregard for law is the “name to shame’ public hoarding campaign showing a minor standing alongside one of the 57 ‘accused’. This is a blatant violation of Child Rights.

Syed Kalbe Sibtain

Right at the beginning, at the number one slot in the hoarding there is a picture of accused Syed Kalbe Sibtain, educationalist and son of renowned Shia cleric, Syed Kalbe Sadiq. Standing alongside in the classroom picture is a girl student of Unity College of Lucknow. Kalbe Sibtain is the one of the trustees of the college and the picture seems to have been lifted from a school magazine and put hurriedly on the hoarding, without even cropping the picture of the student. An insensitive and unlawful act and one which is a criminal offence.

Hundred hoardings of this type, listing 57 accused were put up in the city on March 6th, 2020 at prominent public places. Violating all Human Rights the hoardings lists the personal details of all the accused.  This is  public humiliation of those who allegedly indulged in vandalism and arson in the 19th December 2019 anti- CAA protest rally in the city. The rally turned violent, resulting in police action on the protestors and alleged stone- pelting by the mob. An angry Chief Minister had immediately after the incident condemned the arson and vandalism and threatened that the violent protesters who created this lawlessness and damaged public property would be taught a lesson that they will not forget all their lives. Immediately after public property damage recovery notices were issued in the name of protestors whose selection and identification were done by the police and endorsed by the district administration. The putting up of the hoardings on 6th March was a sequel to this action.

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While there has been a huge public reaction against the putting up of  the hoardings what has further agitated the people is putting up picture of minor in public domain.

Unlawful act

According to Senior advocate, Mohammed Haider it is an unlawful act to put up a picture of a minor without their guardian’s consent and more so when it is put up along with the person who is being accused by the police on charges as serious as vandalism and inciting mob violence.

“It is absolutely shocking to see the callous and vindictive attitude of the administration. They have stooped to an all time low. They did not even think how this picture will affect the child and her family,” said Kalbe Sibtain.  He was also critical of the administration pressure tactics of putting up hoardings with all personal details. He called it “Hitlershaahi.”

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Denying being part of any violent mob, Kalbe Sibtain said he had just participated in the peaceful procession along with some eminent citizens who are against the Draconian CAA law.  He said they started from Bada Imambara and walked up to Tilewali masjid a few minutes away. He left for home thereafter. ‘

“If this is vandalism, I sure deserve to be punished,” he said adding that legal recourse is the only remedy for them.      

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