Brutality meted out by the Delhi Police on Protestors on Human Rights Day


  • December 10, 2023
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The Delhi Police today detained and attacked the protestors who have gathered near Jantar Mantar to oppose grave violation of democratic rights. Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) condemns the rampant brutality meted out by the Delhi Police on Protestors on Human Rights Day!

 

By Samyuktha Kannan 10 Dec, 2023

 

On December 10th, globally recognized as Human Rights Day, various organizations, united under the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), had planned to stage a protest and public gathering at Jantar Mantar at 1:00 PM. The demonstration aimed to condemn the oppressive actions carried out by the authorities against people across the country. However, a day before the scheduled protest, CASR received a letter from the police, abruptly denying permission for the event.

 

CASR, a coalition of civil liberties groups, student groups, democratic rights bodies, women’s rights groups and several other organisations, had applied for permission stating that “the program will focus on discussing human rights in India”. Many rights activists, including Communist Party of India General Secretary D Raja and Forum Against Repression convener in Telangana G Haragopal, were expected to speak at the event. The police replied that the protest “can not be permitted in view of the security/law & order/ traffic reasons in the jurisdiction of New Delhi District”.

 

CASR responded by issuing a call to held a protest against the growing authoritarianism of the Indian state, particularly highlighting the cancellation of the Human Rights Day protest. The protestors began their demonstration but were swiftly encircled by the police. The diverse gathering, comprising students, lawyers, farmers, laborers, women, LGBTQ individuals, and children, marched towards Jantar Mantar. They encountered barricades and a substantial contingent of Delhi Police and paramilitary forces, resulting in a brutal attack on the protestors. Women and LGBTQ individuals were specifically targeted, with male constables dragging them by their hair and subjecting many to physical assault. The assembly faced the use of both lathis and the gun butts.

 

The witnesses among the protestors have reported that the police made deliberate attempts to isolate specific leaders, signalling a targeted approach to their actions. Paramilitary forces used excessive force on the detained protestors, causing numerous injuries. The detained activists, totalling 24, were taken to a police station, while an additional 16 were transported in a separate bus.

 

While all the detained protestors were released, Gaurav Singh, a student from Delhi School of Journalism (DU), participating in the protests, has been missing for hours. During the detainment of student activists, Gaurav was separated and subjected to severe beatings by the police. He was detained in Mandir Marg Police Station and released after seven hours.

 

In a statement, CASR said, “On the occasion where the world celebrates the 75th anniversary of United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Indian state which internationally claims to be the world’s largest democracy is ready to assault protestors to silence discourse against the rising tide of corporate loot of natural resources, against militarized genocide of Adivasis, against brahmanical patriarchy, against caste atrocities, against the corporate assault on peasantry and the exploitation of the labouring people. The rising tide of brahmanical Hindutva fascism is thus attempting silence any attempt at discourse and dissent in its bid to better serve the interests of the Hindutva-corporate nexus, even flouting its international obligations as a party to the UDHR out of fear of dissenting views.”

 

CASR has urged all democratically-minded, peace loving, justice-conscious people to condemn, demonstrate and write against the suppression of democratic rights on the 75th Human Rights Day.

 

The 10th of December is observed as Human Rights Day since 1948, when the UNO has proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris to ensure that fundamental human rights are universally protected. This year is the Dimond Jubilee Year of the Declaration and the theme for 2023 is “Freedom, Equality, and Justice for All”. Democratic forces across the world is celebrating the Human Rights Day. India is a member of UNO and has endorsed the Declaration, but the action of Delhi Police is a blanket violation of fundamental rights, granted by the Indian Constitution.

 

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