Twelve people were arrested after they thrashed youths in a Dalit locality in Azamgarh and charged under the stringent National Security Act (NSA), a senior officer said on Saturday.
According to the police, the incident took place at Azamgarh’s Sikandarpur Aima village on Wednesday evening when some girls belonging to the Dalit community were molested.
“When residents of the Dalit locality resisted the molestation, they were attacked with sharp-edged weapons and sticks. In the police complaint, 9 people were named while 10 were unidentified,” said Triveni Singh, Superintendent of Police, Azamgarh.
“Of them, 12 have been arrested and action is being initiated against them under the NSA,” Singh added. Those arrested were identified as Pervez, Faizan, Noor Alam, Sadre Alam, Hamir, Asif, Meraj and Suhail, police said. A cash reward of Rs 25,000 has been announced for information on the absconding accused, he said.
The police also suspended the Station House Officer of Maharajganj Police Station under which the village falls.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati praised the state government saying, “In the Azamgarh molestation case involving a Dalit girl, the action initiated by UP Chief Minister is better late than never. This is good. But, it would be better, if similar action was initiated in cases pertaining to sisters and daughters in the future as well.”
In another tweet, Mayawati said, “The molestation of any Dalit girl or those from any other religion and caste, be it from Azamgarh, Kanpur or any other district, must be condemned.”
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— Mayawati (@Mayawati) June 13, 2020
Under NSA, a person can be detained without a charge for up to 12 months if authorities are satisfied that they are a threat to national security or law and order.