Anti-CAA protests: Allahabad HC seeks U.P. reply on alleged torture, detention of minors

A PIL petition was filed on the basis of a report based on fact-finding investigations conducted by participating organisations between January 10 and 24 in Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar and Firozabad districts

The Allahabad High Court has sought the Uttar Pradesh government’ reply on a petition alleging illegal detention, torture and criminalisation of juveniles during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) last December.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Varma directed the State government to file all details relating to each and every district of Uttar Pradesh with regard to the application of the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation petition by an NGO, Haq-Centre For Child Rights, filed on the basis of a fact-finding report published in January titled “Brutalising Innocence: Detention, Torture and Criminalisation of Minors by U.P. Police to quell anti-CAA protests.”

The report was based on fact-finding investigations conducted by participating organisations between January 10 and 24 in Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar and Firozabad districts and “verified media accounts” looking into the alleged detention, torture, and criminalisation of minors in Uttar Pradesh.

“It contains documentary evidence of nature of violence, the methods of custodial torture and intimidation, and post-release targeting by law enforcement agencies and the overall effects in individual cases and its patterns across the State of Uttar Pradesh,” read the report.

Close to 41 minors were detained and subjected to custodial torture, said the report. Of these, 22 minors were detained and tortured in Bijnor and 14 minors in Muzaffarnagar. Of the latter, FIRs were filed against four minors who were released after 12 days of detention, the report added.

The High Court listed the matter for December 14.

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