Indian state ordered to remove billboards ‘naming and shaming’ anti-govt protesters

The top court in India’s most populous state ordered authorities on Monday to get rid of large displays of the names, pictures and addresses of dozens of anti-government protesters, amid fears that they encourage attacks by vigilante mobs.

The government of Uttar Pradesh had put up six hoardings last week in prominent places in Lucknow, the capital , identifying people it says joined in violent protests against a replacement citizenship law supported religion.

Allahabad supreme court in Uttar Pradesh ordered the government to get rid of the posters by March 16, saying they were “an unwarranted interference in privacy of people”.

The government travel by an ally of India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will suits the writ but is considering its “legal options”, the chief minister’s top adviser, Mrityunjay Kumar, said.

The government accused the 57 people depicted within the posters of rioting in December, though none has been convicted of any crime. Those depicted accuse the authorities of trying to “name and shame” the protesters.

Hundreds of thousands of individuals have held demonstrations across India since late last year to protest against the citizenship law, which they assert discriminates against Muslims.

Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party says the law is required to guard non-Muslim refugees across South Asia.

Endangering lives
Criticising the posters, Sadaf Jafar, the sole woman to seem in them, told Reuters: “The action by the police and administration has made our lives more vulnerable. How will we feel secure in our city?”

Jafar said she was considering taking action against the govt .

While it had been impossible to verify the faith of these featured within the posters, the bulk had names commonly employed by India’s minority Muslim population.

The actions of the govt are “totally illegal”, said S.R. Darapuri, a former policeman who also appeared on the billboards for supporting the protests.

“We aren’t absconders or hardcore criminals,” he said. “The government by this act has put our lives in peril .”

The adviser, Kumar, has previously defended the billboards, saying they’re an effort to recover damages from those accused and insisting on their legality.

India’s demonstrations have spurred clashes between protesters and police, some along sectarian lines, during which quite 70 people have died, a majority in last month’s bloodletting between Hindus and Muslims within the capital Delhi.




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