19, Jan 2021 | CJP Team
Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has, in a complaint to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), urged the authority to take a suo motu notice and conduct an investigation into the violence and inflammatory sloganeering against the residents of Begum Bagh in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.
On January 18, 2021, CJP approached the Commission to take suo motu cognisance of the illegal demolition of a Muslim daily wager’s house in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh by the Municipal Corporation staff and also demanded an impartial police investigation in the matter.
The complaint gives a detailed account of what transpired on December 25, 2020 when a rally (reportedly) by Bajrang Dal and other right-wing organisations like the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), was organised to raise funds for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The procession allegedly came under attack when it passed through the Muslim-dominated area of Begum Bagh in Ujjain district. The participants reportedly shouted inflammatory slogans, prompting the residents to object to the rally. In the aftermath of this, stones were allegedly pelted at the rally when it passed through the locality.
The complaint states that following the clash on December 25, the local administration- Ujjain Municipal Corporation (UMC) visited the Begum Bagh locality and demolished a house of one Abdul Rafeeq and damaged another when came looking for suspects in the stone-pelting incident caught on video the previous day claiming that the demolition was carried out as the structure was allegedly illegal. But the Police failed to take action against the complaints made by the residents.
The complaint further notes the scathing remarks made by the District Collector that confirmed the reason behind the demolition was to hurt the stone pelters economically. It also notes the Home Minister’s alleged words allegedly justifying the decision of the administration to illegally raze a two storeyed building that housed nearly 20 people.
The CJP complaint also consists of strong judicial pronouncements that uphold the Right to Shelter as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution, and how it is the State’s responsibility and obligation to secure for its citizens, shelter that does not only mean a mere right to a roof over one’s head but right to all the infrastructure necessary to enable them to live and develop as a human being. The complaint also lists down various violations of the provisions of the Madhya Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act, 1956 and the Indian Police Act, 1861.
The complaint brings to the Commission’s notice the hasty demolition by the Municipal Corporation of Ujjain without timely notice and prior information. In addition to this, CJP has also highlighted the police inaction against the incendiary slogans and verbal abuse hurled at the Begum Bagh residents during the collection drive that breached public order and harmony.
Finally, CJP has humbly urged NHRC to take cognisance of the matter under the Protection of Human Rights Act and issue appropriate directions to the Police Commissioner of Ujjain over the provocative and offensive slogans by the right-wing outfit members. Most importantly, CJP has also requested the Commission to take necessary steps to ensure immediate rehabilitation of Abdul Rafeeq and his family and to provide monetary compensation for the lost property and valuables.
The entire complaint may be read here::