Author: Hitakshi Maggo Student, Fairfield Institute of Management and Technology, New Delhi
Citizenship Amendment Act which was approved by parliament on December 11, which is a fast-track citizenship for non-Muslims even without documents, immigrants from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, on condition that they have lived in India for at least six years and have entered in India by December 31, 2014. Which become big issue because this act and/or amendment criticized and excluded the Muslims which is a big debatable topic in India till today about discrimination between Hindu and Muslim. It can be considered to be a type of divide and rule system which is highly criticized by our scholars, because it is eventually a step back from becoming a secular country.
When citizenship amendment bill was introduced the main protest, which took place were in north eastern states of India but there were issues going which were going on in Delhi. In an incident, where the students of Jamia Milia University in Delhi were protesting, the Delhi police arrived there and entered into a university and lathi charged the students in which according to various reports over 100 students got injured including those who were not even protesting for the same as stated in the report by (The Indian Express , 2019). The report even stated that the students were studying in the library and the police fired tear gas shells inside the library and beat up girls. After this incident, the students of various other universities like Patna University, Chandigarh University, IIT Bombay and many more took out a protest march to support the students of Jamia. There are several instances or incidents where police clashed with protesters and started to detain them and amongst them several were minors.
Many rights of the students were violated because of unusual beating and detention and the same is an offence in the eyes of law. Some of the detainers were not even presented before the court within 24 hours which is illegal in the eyes of law. For the ones who were juveniles there is are specific provisions under Juvenile Justice Act which states that if a juvenile is arrested or detained then it is a duty of the police officer to present that particular person before the board within a period of 24 hours of arrest or detention.
According to the reports, it was stated that Uttar Pradesh Police detained 41 children during the protest of CAA and some of them were beaten and tortured. The Uttar Pradesh Police did not show any concern while dealing with minor children. This particularly happend in Muzaffarnagar, and Bijor which were a total of a 40 % of the population of Muslim district and with high percentage of minority institutions where children from different states studied. Police entered in hostels and saadat madrasa, where 50 students, two staff members, principle and a cook were accused by the police and here 14 were minors, and on the very same day in Bijnor, 22 minors were detained and were accused for the protest against the CAA. In Firozabad, minors who were detained were not even given access to a legal aid which is a violation of their rights. As per the report of (Huffpost, 2019) which talks about the statement of 5 children’s who were detained for nearly 48 hours by Uttar Pradesh police and they were beaten with lathis every few hours and police were torturing them by refusing to allow them to sleep. Under these circumstances when Muslim children wanted to break their Friday fast they were denied for the same and police abused them by making Islamic religious figures of their Prophet and forced to say Jay Shree Ram, which is a violation of their fundamental right. According to one of them who was of 14 years, stated that, the police officials showed them a video in which someone was stripped naked and was beaten brutally, this type of videos were shown to them to torture them psychologically. They also stated that police pushed them into a big hall where nearly 150 people were detained and beaten up.
Let us now see what the Juvenile Justice Act has to say about the detention of minors. There are certain procedure and rules which are defined under Juvenile Justice (care and prevention of children) act, 2015 for the children who are found to be in violation of law. It is stated that whenever a child is alleged to be in violation or conflict with law he or she should be placed under the in charge of special juvenile police unit or child welfare police officer according to the provisions of section 10 of this act, and it is a duty of that officer to produce the child before the juvenile justice board within 24 hours excluding the time period used in moving child from the picked up point to the destination, whereas in the above findings and according to report they were detained for more than 24 hours in police custody. The way in which the Uttar Pradesh police treated the children who were detained during the protest was in complete violation with the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. Not only this but there is a report which shows that Uttar Pradesh police posted the posters of the children who were detained by them and this is also a complete violation of their right to privacy and confidentiality which is provided to them under the provisions of Constitution of India.
Not only this but it is also totally in the violation of United Nation Convention on the rights of children which is stated in 1992, it stated that child has a right to protest against any discrimination or punishment of any form which violates their rights, and the cruel treatment of police on children is in total violation of this basic right. It is a responsibility of an institution or organization or authority, who hold police custody of the children to ensure their safety and care, protection while prioritizing the child’s well being, and child’s right to life without any fear, which is in this incident is totally violated by the authority. There is a statutory body which was set up in the year 2007 namely National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 with an objective to protect, promote and defend the rights of a child in India along with the rights which are provided in United Nations Convention on Right of Child 1989. The power to examine and review the law in regards with protection of child rights and safeguarding them by recommending measures to the government which will help further to take initiative steps to improve the situation. It is a duty of this committee to keep check on the complete implementation of these rules in India. Commission can also initiate proceedings in the cases where the rights of children are in violation and can also set up an inquiry into the violation. They have the power to frame the policy, and commissioning research for the protection and safety of the child. In relation to CAA protest and detention incident the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) issued an advisory to the director general of police department of all the states regarding the issue of “misuse of children in unlawful activities like stone-pelting during protest in various states against the citizenship amendment act”, which is in complete violation of the rights under Juvenile Justice (Care and Prevention of Children) Act, 2015 stated under (The Hindu, 2019).
In December 2020 Bharatiya Janta Party’s west Bengal in charge, Kailash Vijayvargiya said that process of granting citizenship to refuges will start from January under Citizenship Amendment Act, according to (Hindustan Times, 2020). He also added that all other opposition leaders are against this CAA in Supreme Court, but this government is not concerned about 70 percent of people of the state. Thousands of people will become stateless by enforcement of the citizenship act which certainly result in statelessness. So after all of these information CAA impacts everyone in a very critical way.
As per my views, this statelessness will result in gathering of huge number of people and it will be very difficult to look after all of them. Basically this bill or act provide free citizenship which attract most of people to come here. Even when our country is unable to manage poverty or unemployment for their own citizens then how can they be able to manage others, according to records there are several situation where economy crashed and due to which unemployment rises which becomes another huge issue for everyone. This bill becomes a huge issue of illegal migrants because according to this bill for getting citizenship of India one needs to show only a affidavit stating that such person is hindu which can be forged and made illegally. Because of this bill riots also rises between hindu and muslim which are in relation with discrimination between them on religious basis. It is a history of our country that whenever there is a conflict on base of religion arise then it always resulted in wars and hampers the integrity or peace of country. According to me this bill is just a form of diverting public from main issue of poverty or any other to this political agenda.
Huffpost. (2019, 12 24).
NCPCR. (n.d.). https://ncpcr.gov.in/
The Hindu. (2019, 12 29). https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/caa-protests-protecting-minors/article30421354.ece
The Indian Express . (2019, december 16). https://www.google.com/amp/s/indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/over-100-injured-we-were-just-praying-they-hit-me-i-fainted-6168926/lite/
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