The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind led by Maulana Arshad Madani has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking direction for the State of Uttar Pradesh to stop the illegal demolition drive that has created an atmosphere of fear and panic among the Muslims.
In two interim petitions filed in the apex court on Monday, the JUI says, "several government officials have told the media that the properties of the suspects or the accused (in recent riots) will be confiscated and demolished. Even the Chief Minister of the state has said in the media that the houses of the accused will be demolished using bulldozers. Additional Director General (Law & Order) Mr. Prashant Kumar and Kanpur Police Commissioner Mr. Vijay Singh Meena have also reiterated that the properties of the accused have been confiscated or demolished.”
In a press release, the organization said that while Muslims were singled out for arrests in the riots, on the other hand, the administration has started damaging the property of Muslims in Kanpur, Prayag Raj (Allahabad), and Saharanpur cities for the last three days. And as soon as they saw it, several houses were bulldozed.
These petitions are add ons to the pending petition on similar demolitions in the Jahangir Puri, Khargone case. On April 21, the Supreme Court issued notices to Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, and Delhi asking the government to explain their stand on the “Bulldozer demolitions.”
The JUH petition states that demolitions are being carried out illegally even after the Supreme Court had issued notices in an earlier petition.
The petition has asked the apex court to act against officers involved in razing the properties of Muslims in violation of the law. It says the authorities had overlooked the clause of 15-days' notice to be served before taking action against a property built on illegal land.
The petition states that the "adoption of such legal measures is a clear violation of the principles of justice of the country, especially as this esteemed court is hearing the present case." It seeks directions for the state of UP not to take action as an additional legal punitive measure in any criminal proceedings against the residential or commercial property of any offender in Kanpur District.
The petition states that notices for demolition were indeed posted at public places the night before the planned demotions. Due to strict security arrangements and an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, the victims could not even approach the court to seek relief.
The Supreme Court is currently on summer vacation. Jamiat's lawyers Sarem Naveed and Kamran Javed have requested the Supreme Court Registry that given the sensitivity of the matter, the petition be heard by the vacation Judge at the soonest.