Extra-Judicial Killings
The cold-blooded televised assassination of convicted UP politician Atique Ahmed and his brother Ashraf late last night in police custody in Prayagraj starkly illustrates the complete collapse of rule of law in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh. Yogi Adityanath routinely boasts about the frequent use of extra-judicial killings that are passed off as encounters by his government and celebrated as the most effective antidote against crime. But when Atique and Ashraf were shot down at such close range, the police just watched and waited in silence till the assassins surrendered after finishing their assignment.

The Chief Minister had been openly threatening to finish off Atique Ahmed prompting the latter to appeal to the Supreme Court to seek protection. His counsel told the apex court that Atique's transfer from Gujarat to UP was a death warrant. The Supreme Court while turning down the plea for protection had orally observed that since he was already in police custody, the state machinery would take care of him. People now know how the state has discharged its role. The shocking assassination of Atique and Ashraf came close on the heels of the extra-judicial killing of Atique's son Asad in Jhansi.

In 2006 Yogi Adityanath, then MP from Gorakhpur, had wept in Parliament complaining to then Speaker Somnath Chatterjee against his alleged persecution in Uttar Pradesh. Now in power, his government has unleashed an unbridled reign of terror, vendetta and persecution on his opponents. The assassination of Atique Ahmed, who too, like Yogi Adityanath, was a member of Parliament (from Phulpur) during 2004-2009, just shows how the rule of law has taken a complete beating and lawlessness has been institutionalised as governance supported by the twin props of rampaging bulldozers and extra-judicial 'encounters'.

This collapse of rule of law makes life increasingly insecure for all citizens regardless of religion and caste. The killing of Vivek Tiwari, a marketing executive with Apple in Lucknow, by the police on 29 September 2018, the murder of Ghaziabad journalist Vikram Joshi on 20 July, 2020 and the lynching of transport manager Shivam Johri in Shahjahanpur on April 12, 2023 are just three chilling instances of the reign of terror and impunity that governance has been reduced to in Uttar Pradesh under the stewardship of Yogi Adityanath.
Central Committee,
Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation (CPIML)
April 16, 2023, New Delhi

Civil Death for 2.2 Million Assamese
Behind every (human) rights violation is a name, a person, a human being whose life gets violently ruptured when the basic right to live with dignity is snatched away. Assam’s citizenship crisis is a humanitarian tragedy of unspeakable proportions affecting a third of the population. A discriminatory and ill-thought through, documentary test of being is bringing into question an individual’s relationship with the land of his/her birth. Arbitrarily being declared non-Indian (un-Indian) has meant a civil death for 2.2 million Assamese and their families. Since 2017, CJP’s Team Assam has worked in faraway villages and districts to provide real paralegal, legal and psychological assistance.

The team came across many instances of unlettered housewives, even elderly women, being victimised by a document-dependent system that fails to take into account ground realities in rural India. 73-year-old Parbati Das was thrown into a detention camp because she had no acceptable documentary evidence of being her parents’ daughter!

The denial of citizenship is much like a civil death as the ‘right to have rights’ is arbitrarily snatched away by an unfeeling State. There were many instances of mysterious deaths of detention camp inmates. Seemingly healthy people, suddenly dropping dead. Then there were people who succumbed to a bout of ill health brought about by poor hygiene and over all bad conditions in the detention camps. But Saken Ali’s case took this to a completely different level! His citizenship was questioned because his name was spelt Saken in some documents and Sakhen in some others. A missing “H” paved the way to hell for this middle-aged fisherman who likes nothing more than to stand on the banks of his beloved Brahmaputra and watch the sun go down.

CJP's Assam team persevered through floods, damaged roads, and a wave of notices labelling innocent citizens as "foreigners" and questioning their citizenship. CJP’s dedicated team provided unconditional support to those previously detained in detention camps, as well as those labelled as "suspected foreigners" and "D-voters." Additionally, CJP fought against hate, bigotry, and injustice within the state, surmounting every obstacle in the path.
CJP Team, Assam


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Vol 55, No. 44, April 30 - May 6, 2023