After Arrests in Anti-CAA Protests, Fear Reigns in UP’s Bhadohi

The Quint visited Bhadohi and spoke to four families to understand the basis of their fear.

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After police lathi-charged anti-CAA protesters in Uttar Pradesh's Bhadohi on 20 December and subsequently made arrests, locals continue to live in fear. Bhadohi police lodged FIRs against 27 identified and 200 unidentified people, out of which at least 39 people were arrested. The families of the arrested allege that cops threatened and manhandled them.

The Quint visited Bhadohi and spoke to four families to understand the basis of this fear better.

Eight boys were arrested from Saimun Nisa's family. She says her sons weren't even part of the protests.

“They used a ladder to climb to the school here and then came to my terrace. They broke both the doors and woke up all my kids. They took my kids away in this cold. They took away eight of my children. My children are labourers. They were not there (in the protest).”
Saimun Nisa, Mother of detained labourers

Salman Ahmad, too, was arrested in the middle of the night. His family members allege that over 60 policemen entered their house. Apart from arresting Salman, cops allegedly also gheraoed their daughter's room and broke almirahs. Other families stated that their mobile phones were looted during the arrests.

“They abused them and misbehaved with them. We were asking them why they were breaking our lockers. They threw out all our clothes and tried breaking both the lockers.”
Naseer Ahmad, Father of Salman Ahmad

The Bhadohi police, however, denied any incidents of looting. The superintendent of police even said that he had provided his personal contact number for anyone wishing to report “unnecessary trouble”.

“Some 39 people were arrested, out of which 25 people have been charged under section 151 and others have been arrested for pelting stones and vandalism. There hasn’t been any incident of loot in any house. And 27 of those wanted people are on the run. The allegations they made are wrong.”
Ram Badan Singh, SSP, Bhadohi

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