International human rights body urges Centre to investigate use of excessive force by UP govt

 thehindu.com  01/16/2020 07:55:18 

International human rights body International Commission of Jurists has urged the Union government to investigate the use of excessive and unlawful force by the Uttar Pradesh government against demonstrators protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

The ICJ described the CAA as a discriminatory law.

At least 19 persons died in UP, most of them through bullet injuries, during the protests against the CAA last month.

The high death toll of peaceful protestors in Uttar Pradesh highlights the use of excessive force by the police, in contravention of international standards of policing and human rights, Sam Zarifi, ICJ Secretary General said in a statement.

The governments must investigate any death or injury that occurs during protests by law enforcement officials and to ensure access to justice to victims and their families, Mr. Zarifi added. The ICJ issued a briefing paper on the police action on demonstrators.

The paper was based on firsthand interviews with witnesses and victims and documents the unnecessary, excessive and indiscriminate use of force in UP, including the use of firearms as well as teargas, water cannons, and baton charging by the police in response the ongoing protests.

While police authorities claim that the protestors initiated the violence, firsthand interviews with victims and witnesses and numerous other credible reports indicate that the police used force on peaceful protestors including lathis, teargas, bullets, the ICJ said.

Individuals reported that they had not been able to get their medico-legal certificates and victims families reported inability to access postmortem reports, the ICJ added.

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