CAA protests: 300 WB workers fled Lucknow fearing police, 6 ‘innocent waiters’ jailed, says lawyer Ashma Izzat

Fearing being jailed or killed in an encounter by UP police, as many as 300 West Bengal workers fled Lucknow, the human rights activist told National Herald

Some of the workers from West Bengal arrested in Uttar Pradesh
Some of the workers from West Bengal arrested in Uttar Pradesh

NH Political Bureau

On the pretext of the crackdown on illegal refugees/immigrants from Bangladesh, Uttar Pradesh police arrested six daily wage workers belonging to West Bengal’s Malda district, during the anti-CAA protest from Lucknow, National Herald has learnt.

Apart from those who have been arrested, as many as 300 other daily wage workers fled Lucknow, fearing being jailed or killed in an encounter by the UP police.

Human right activist and lawyer Ashma Izzat told National Herald that police have arrested “innocent” waiters to justify their brutal action against protesters and to support the dominant political narrative in favour of CAA-NPR.

According to her, the arrested “innocent waiters” have been living in the city for last five years and they were working at the famous Dastarkhwan, Naushijaan Darbar and Open-Air restaurant at the time of their arrest.

Izzat told NH that police have imposed section 157 (harbouring persons hired for an unlawful assembly), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 307 (attempt to murder) against those who have been arrested, “which is quite laughable as these workers didn’t have anything to do with the anti-CAA protest”.

“They were brutalised and tortured by the police,” claimed Izzat, adding, “Khairul and his brother Salehdul who worked as waiters in one of the restaurants were beaten up badly by police in the lock-up”.

The owner of the Naushijaan Darbar, Shameel Shamsi and owner of the Open-Air Restaurant expressed disappointment and shock over the police action and claimed that those who have been arrested on fake charges are innocent.

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