CAA Activist Zainab’s Father Held by UP’s ATS, Kin Allege Assault

Zainab played an active role in the CAA-NRC demonstrations held in Lucknow last year.

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India
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Zainab Siddiqui’s father and brother were picked up by UP police
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Kin of Zainab Siddiqui, an active member of social activist Medha Patkar's organisation ‘National Alliance of People's Movement', have alleged that policemen manhandled family members, including women of the house, during their investigation into her role in the CAA-NRC demonstrations, held in Lucknow last year.

Siddiqui’s family alleged that two policemen reached their house on Thursday, 5 November, at 5 pm and showed her photograph, before questioning her father, Naeem Siddiqui.

Following which, eight more people arrived in plain clothes and took Naeem Siddiqui and his son Shaad into custody.

Siddiqui has been working on the social welfare of women and Dalits for the last eight years.

Kin Allege Assault By Police

Siddiqui’s mother spoke to The Quint about the incident:

“After the two policemen left, my husband came back to the house after 6 pm, after offering namaz. Those eight people caught my husband and pushed him into their car. Hearing his screams, we all came out of the house and tried to stop them from taking him away. Those men called 50 more policemen from the nearby police station. We were beaten up in their presence. We asked them the reason for their action, we asked them why are they forcing my husband into the car, we asked them if they have a notice, but those people did not stop. Then, my 16-year old son came there, they forced him too into the car and took them away.”
Roshan Bano, Zainab Siddiqui’s Mother

No Female Police Officer Was Present

Siddiqui's sister Rukkaiya was also present there during this incident. She said:

“Those people held my father and said, 'You will challenge CAA-NRC, you will defy Yogi, you will speak against the government, how come you Muslims gain so much power'."

“They snatched our mobile phones and when other people came to help us, the SHO of Hasanganj police station lathi-charged them... no female police officer was present at that time. Despite that, they misbehaved with us, they were not leaving us, they abused us,” Rukkaiya Siddiqui added.

ATS Shouldn’t Have Gone to Siddique’s House: Pandey

On the behest of social worker Sandeep Pandey, honoree Magsaysay award winner and IIM Ahmedabad guest lecturer, the police released Zainab’s brother Shaad.

Pandey told The Quint that when he reached the police station and asked the SHO about the incident, he said: “Both the sides made mistakes. Naeem Siddiqui received a call on his phone, which was being investigated by the ATS. SHO accepted that the ATS shouldn’t have gone to Siddiqui’s house, and instead should have called Naeem Siddiqui to the police station. He also stated that if Naeem Siddiqui would have been called at the police station, then this incident wouldn’t have happened.”

The SHO, Pandey added, said that Naeem Siddiqui will be kept for further investigation.

“It is not right to keep Zainab’s brother Shaad in the police station overnight. He is a Class 10 student. When I saw him at night, it didn’t seem that he was beaten up. In the morning, when we went to get him released, he was asked to sign some papers but he couldn’t due to pain... I asked him if he was beaten up with sticks, he said ‘not one’.”
Sandeep Pandey

‘I Don’t Understand Why Did This Happen’: Zainab Siddiqui

Zainab said that she ‘did not understand why this happened to her family.’

“I have been active as a social worker for the last eight years... worked continuously for farmers, women and Dalits. I am a member of NAPM, as well as part of Mahila Yuva Adhikar Manch. When the police came on Thursday, I was not at home. The police were asking about me, whether I had been in CAA-NRC protests or not. Like all the people who participated in the protest, I too participated in it. FIR was filed against many people but it did not happen with me. I can’t comprehend what just happened with me, such an investigation against me and my father is condemnable. My father is a construction contractor. We cannot understand why this happened to us."

We contacted Hasanganj police station about the situation in Zainab’s house in the presence of police administration and the detention of her brother and father.

“We do not have anyone in custody, the Special Force has taken them.” 
Amarnath Verma, in-charge of Hasanganj police station 

But the police officer-in-charge did not answer the question of why Zainab’s 16-year-old brother was detained.

Complaint Filed With Magistrate and Commissioner

Zainab's father's lawyer, Asma Izzat, said: "Zainab Siddiqui is a social activist who was active last year on CAA-NRC, then the police came to inquire about Zainab and took her father and minor brother into custody. So, it is not clear whether the police came for Zainab or her father. We have given a written complaint to the Commissioner and Chief Justice of Allahabad Lucknow Bench. In the morning, Zainab's brother was released by Hasanganj police station, but the police is not ready to answer about why Zainab’s father was kept overnight in jail and where he is at the moment. So, we have given an application under Section 97 CRPC to the Honorable Judicial Magistrate Lucknow, that Naeem Siddiqui should be located and his information be given to the family.”

(This article was originally published in Hindi Quint)

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