LUCKNOW – Swiftly acting on a complaint of harassment of Muslim youths, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday instructed the Director-General of Police of Uttar Pradesh to take appropriate action within eight weeks.

The National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) had filed a detailed complaint before the NHRC on 22 August, listing various incidents of harassment by the UP police in Barabanki, Lucknow, Bahraich, Banaras (Varanasi), Sitapur, Shamli and Muzaffarnagar.

According to Adv. A. Mohamed Yusuff, National Secretary, NCHRO, the uniformed men started tormenting Muslim youths from the night before the August 5 stone-laying ceremony for a Ram temple at Ayodhya and continue to persecute them.

Some 40 Muslim youngsters have been subjected to harassment of different types –preventive detention, arrest in false cases and detention, mid-night raids in houses, mental torture, etc.

“The cops gate-crashed into Muslim homes, illegally entering their premises without female police staff and conducting search in an arbitrary manner in the name of inquiry and threatening the family members, not to mention custodial torture during the interrogations in police stations”, says Yusuff.

“The police officers grossly violated the legal procedures, human rights and the mandates of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, as well as are involved in the religious profiling and isolation of Muslim youths in the eye of society,” he said, adding that the NCHRO filed an elaborate complaint before the NHRC only after receiving inputs about the gross human rights violations.

On August 27, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Janhastakshep and Citizens for Democracy collectively authored a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, urging him to take note of blatant human rights violations in the country.

This story first appeared on September 2, 2020 in Clarion India here.