Even as reports of gross police excess come out of Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath issued yet another warning against anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests saying those who stand in the way of “his work of public welfare” will be punished.
Adityanath’s Twitter account, referring to him in third person, and called him a saint. The tweet said, “Whoever stands in the way of the saint’s continuous efforts of public service and welfare of the people will be punished.”
Taking a dig at Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi’s criticism on police atrocities in the state and government apathy, the tweet said, “How will those — who have inherited politics and have forgotten the country, and indulge in politics of appeasement — understand the meaning of serving the public?”
In another tweet the chief minister’s office said that he had donned his saffron robes, and renounced everything, to serve people.
PTI quoted Gandhi as saying on Monday, “He wears the dress of a yogi. He wears saffron clothes. This bhagwa (saffron) is not yours, it belongs to the religious, spiritual tradition of Hindustan.”
“It is a symbol of the Hindu religion. Us dharma ko dhaaran kariye (adopt that religion). In that religion, there is no place for anger, violence and revenge. This is all I have to say,” she added.
Adtiyanath’s BJP government has muzzled dissent through several methods, including “damage” notices to protesters who allegedly vandalised public property. Most of the people who have been detained or have received such notices are so underprivileged that they do not have the means to hire lawyers to defend them in courts.
Munni Begum, the mother of an embroidery worker who was in police custody and had received a notice had told The Indian Express last week, “I have not received any recovery notice from the district administration so far. We don’t even have money to arrange a lawyer for Zameer. How can we pay any compensation?”
Now, a Huffpost India report published on Tuesday shows that the police are also forcing the kin of the dead to have quick funerals. Editor-in-Chief of Huffpost India, Aman Sethi, writes in his report:
The visible violence, arson, and vandalism of the Uttar Pradesh police force, vividly captured by television channels, has been accompanied by an orchestrated attempt to erase all traces of deaths caused by the state police with a justified reputation for impunity.
Earlier in an interview with Huffpost India’s politics editor Betwa Sharma, activist Kavita Krishnan had said the Uttar Pradesh police had killed Muslims in the state who were not even protesting.