Ex-Bureaucrats Highlight ‘Breakdown of Governance’ in UP in Open Letter

The letter cites arbitrary detentions, custodial torture and police attacks on peaceful protesters and journalists as examples of such a breakdown in UP.

UP Govt breakdown

74 former bureaucrats and police officers have written an open letter condemning the breakdown of governance and “blatant violation of rule of law” in Uttar Pradesh.  The letter has the support of over 200 known figures as well. The letter cites arbitrary detentions, custodial torture and police attacks on peaceful protesters and journalists as examples of such a breakdown in UP.

Targeting of Muslim Men- ‘Love Jihad and Extrajudicial Killings

It demanded an end to extra-judicial killings, targeting of Muslim men via the ‘Love Jihad’ law, alleged misuse of the National Security Act in the name of cow slaughter and against dissenters. The letter also mentioned the mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis in the state as an example, highlighting the uncounted deaths and a breakdown of the healthcare system.

“We note with mounting alarm that the present ruling regime in UP has ushered in a model of governance which swerves further and further away from the values of the Constitution and the rule of law with each passing day. It seems clear that all branches of the administration, including the executive magistrates and the police, have collapsed. We fear that, unless checked now, the damage to the polity and institutions in the state will result in the decay and destruction of democracy itself,” As per the letter.

The letter also mentioned the case of journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested while on his way to cover the Hathras case which involved the “complicity of the administration in the hurried overnight cremation of her body that had caused national outrage”. The letter states that,”Kappan has so far spent more than 200 days in prison. More recently, these repressive measures have taken the form of punitive actions against those highlighting lethal shortcomings in UP’s healthcare system,” .

On Misuse of NSA and Attack on Marginalised Communities 

The letter mentions the “Misuse of NSA in the Name of Cow Slaughter and Against Dissenters”. “Officials under the UP government have been using the law openly against mainly Muslims, Dalits and dissenters, for alleged offences that cannot be seen as a threat to national security.”

It goes on to provide data from reports on the use of the law, with 139 139 people booked under the law in 2020 out of which 76 are for alleged cow slaughter, 13 for anti-CAA protests, and 37 for alleged heinous crimes.

Upcoming Assembly Elections

The assembly elections in the state due next year is also mentioned: “Since coming to power, the bias of the present government of UP against Muslims has been open and uninhibited… Further, keeping in mind the forthcoming elections, we apprehend that such actions by the UP government, if not controlled, may cause communal polarisation and disturbances.”

Read: Journalist Threatened with NSA for Investigating Evictions of 11 Muslim Families in UP


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April 2024


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