Uttar Pradesh: Bulldozer ran over letter from UN rapporteurs
We have raised concerns to Government of India that this seems to really go beyond simply random acts of violence: Balakrishnan Rajagopal
Before the latest punitive demolition by the Uttar Pradesh government in Allahabad this month, three United Nations special rapporteurs had written to the Centre criticising similar actions targeting Muslims after communal clashes in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Delhi.
This was confirmed by one of the special rapporteurs, Balakrishnan Rajagopal — associate professor of law and development at the department of urban studies and planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — in an interview to journalist Karan Thapar for the news portal, The Wire, last weekend.
“We have raised many concerns and we have made our concerns very clear to the Government of India that this seems to really go beyond simply random acts of violence — that there is a pattern (to) it and, yes, there might be a concern on our part that they can amount to collective punishment,” Rajagopal said.
The letter was sent on June 9, three days before Allahabad authorities bulldozed parts of the house of Javed Mohammad, alleged “mastermind” of a violent June 10 protest against now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s comments on Prophet Mohammed.
In mid-April, houses and shops belonging mostly to Muslims were demolished in Khargone (Madhya Pradesh), Anand (Gujarat) and Jahangirpuri (Delhi) after communal clashes broke out during Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti processions.
According to the office of the special rapporteur, India has 60 days to respond to the June 9 letter. If India responds, both the response and the special rapporteurs’ letter will be published together.
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The Telegraph, 22 June, 2022, https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/uttar-pradesh-bulldozer-ran-over-letter-from-un-rapporteurs/cid/1871206