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

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Mahihuzzama Ansari, a journalist who covered the evictions with India Tomorrow, was threatened by the District Magistrate with arrest under the National Security Act (NSA). Source: Maktoob Media

Last week, 11 Muslim families were made to sign over their land located near Gokarnath Temple in Gorakhpur UP, for ‘security reasons’. The district administration forced the families to sign a consent form to hand over the land to the UP Government.The consent letter written in Hindi states as follows:

“To abide the order of district administration to deploy police force keeping in view the security at The Gorakhnath Temple, we are giving our land and signing this document with our will. We don’t have any objections. To express our consent, we are signing this document below.”

One of the signatories of the letter, spoke to The Cognate, saying that the letter had been signed under pressure from the administration.

Mahihuzzama Ansari, a journalist who covered the evictions was threatened by the District Magistrate with arrest under the National Security Act (NSA). He spoke to Maktoobmedia on the incident, wherein he was threatened by K. Vijayendra Pandian, the District Magistrate, with arrest, after he called Pandian to ask about the government narrative on the evictions. He mentioned that Pandian enquired about his religion in an insulting manner. He threatened to slap an NSA case on him for “making the atmosphere hostile” among Hindus and Muslims. In an audio clip provided by Ansari, Pandian says:

“You also have a Muslim name…Rise above your religion Ansari”.

“All will be sent to jail…Whoever publishes the report, will be jailed…You are breaching their privacy…They have given their consent…We will file an FIR and name those who publish the report on the internet…”

On Wednesday, Ansari filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commision (NHRC) on the matter. He demands that action be taken against Pandian, who from such a high position of constitutional authority is threatening a journalist, as well as making comments about his religion.

Read: UP Govt Invokes ESMA Act Banning Strikes in State Departments

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