First Notices Issued In UP To 28 Residents, Asked To Pay ₹14 Lakh For Damage To Govt Property
Days after Uttar Pradesh CM Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath warned of “revenge” against the arsonists, the Rampur district administration has initiated notices to 28 people asking them to pay the damages.
Rampur is the first district in the state to initiate the recovery of damage to government property including police motorcycles, barrier, dandas.
The notices were issued to 28 people on December 24, seeking explanation on why recoveries should not be made for damage worth ₹14.86 lakh holding them responsible for acts of violence and damage to government property.
Among the 28 are an embroidery worker and a hawker of spices who are already in custody. Embroidery worker Zameer’s mother Munni Begum told The Indian Express that she does not even have money to hire a lawyer for her son in custody.
“I have not received any recovery notice from the district administration so far. We don’t even have money to arrange a lawyer for Zameer. How can we pay any compensation?” said Zameer’s mother.
She said police came to their house in Nai Basti on Sunday afternoon and took Zameer with them.
“They did not say why they were taking away Zameer. The next day, we came to know police had booked Zameer for the Saturday violence and sent him to jail. My son, who has studied only till Class IV, is innocent. On the day of the violence, he was at home,” she said.
Zameer’s neighbour Mehmood, who sold spices on a cart for a living, was also arrested by police on Sunday in connection with the same incident.
Mehmood’s brother-in-law Faheem, a daily-wage labour, said Mehmood too was home on Saturday. “There was no need for him to participate in the violence… He lives in rented accommodation and earns a meagre amount. How can he pay such a huge compensation sum?”.
In Rampur, Seema, wife of labourer Pappu, said her husband had been wrongly arrested in a case of protest. She too said her husband was home on Saturday, and that the police came the next day. “No one was ready to listen,” she said.
Zameer, Mehmood and Pappu have been sent to Rampur jail.
Police said Zameer and Mehmood were arrested for their alleged involvement in Saturday’s violence at Hathi Khan crossing that left one person dead and five injured.
Rampur District Magistrate Aunjaneya Kumar Singh said: “We issued notices to 28 persons whose role were found by police during investigation. Police have submitted evidence against them. They have been asked to submit their response within a week, otherwise, the process of recovery against them will be started.”
The district administration said the notices were issued following a state government order based on an Allahabad High Court order.
The notices were issued on the basis of information provided by local police. Police have video clips and photographs, including from media houses and local residents. Police have also collected footage of CCTVs near the incident site.
In the notice, loss of property worth ₹14,86,500 has been cited. It lists, among others, a police jeep of Bhot police station (₹750,000), motorcycle of a sub-inspector (₹65,000), motorcycle of City Kotwali police station (₹90,000), wireless set, hooter/loudspeaker, 10 dandas, three helmets, three body protectors.