‘No Evidence’: UP Police Drops Most Charges on Madrasa Students

The ten students and other residents of the madrasa were arrested on 20 December last year.

2 min read
Police detains a protester protesting against the UP Police’s brutality during Citizenship Act Protests.

The Uttar Police has dropped 16 of the 17 charges against students and other residents of the Hauza-e-Ilmia Imam Hussain madrasa in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar, who were arrested during anti-CAA protests, due to lack of evidence, HuffPost India reported.

The ten students and other residents of the madrasa were arrested on 20 December 2019, as part of the government’s crackdown on protests against the contentious amended Citizenship Act in Muzaffarnagar.

“Now the police officials are realising that this could go against them. So, on 3 January, they released four minors from jail under section 169 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, saying that they do not have any evidence against them,” Advocate Kamran Hasnain, a lawyer consulted by the madrasa, told HuffPost India.

The police have withdrawn all charges except for Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code against ten other students and madrasa residents, the Huffpost India report quoted Hasnain as saying.

'Police Action Proves FIR Is Completely False’

The ten students and other madrasa inmates were initially accused of serious crimes such as attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy, assault or use of criminal force on public servants, damage to public property, among others, the report said.

An FIR was filed at the Civil Lines police station on 21 December.

The police had named 108 people in the FIR and have now dropped serious charges against ten who are directly related with the madrasa.

Advocate Hasnain said the police’s action “proves that the FIR is completely false” as the officials themselves say that those arrested did not commit any serious crimes, except for violation of Section 144, according to Huffpost India.

Hasnain said this could help even those the police are still charging with crimes as they have "termed their own actions as wrong."

Senior Superintendent of Police in Muzaffarnagar Abhishek Yadav said the charges were dropped due to "lack of evidence."

However, Yadav did not explain why such charges were made against the students despite lack of evidence, Huffpost India reported.

Advocate Naseem Zaidi, another lawyer consulted by the madrasa, said the police had confused the madrasa students for protesters and the charges were dropped after evidence was given refuting the allegations.

Hussain, the madrasa’s other advocate, believes the grave charges were dropped fearing that legal cases may be filed to investigate the alleged physical assault during the clampdown ordered by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The founder of the Madrasa, Maulana Asad Raza Hussaini and his students were physically abused by the police at the Civil Lines police station on 20 December 2019, Huffpost India reported.

The allegations of abuse are part of a wider pattern of allegations against the Uttar Pradesh police to quell any dissent to the contentious new citizenship law, according to Huffpost India.

(With inputs from Huffpost India.)

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