UP Police send notices to women activists over protests against Hathras gang-rape

New Delhi: Several women activists in Lucknow have received notices from the police for participating in protests against the Hathras gang-rape incident, in which a Dalit woman was raped and assaulted by four upper-caste men in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district in September.

Earlier, these women had made headlines for their active role in anti-CAA protests held in Uttar Pradesh capital, Lucknow. Scores of them were targeted by the police over CAA protests too.

Uzma Parveen, Sumaiya Rana, Madhu Garg and Meena Singh have been summoned or visited by the police in connection with protests against the aforementioned gang-rape incident.

The women had attempted to gather at ‘1090 Crossing of Gomti Nagar’ in Lucknow on October 8 last year to register their protest against the Hathras incident. But their attempt was foiled by the police.

The police have claimed that a group of 30 to 35 women under the leadership of Sumaiya Rana carried out an “anti-government procession” and violated Section 144 of the CrPC which had come into effect because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In its FIR, the police also alleged that protesting women were not wearing masks despite the pandemic and had a scuffle with police officials.

Uttar Pradesh faced immense criticism for allegedly cracking down on dissent and violating fundamental rights.

“This is not a democracy. We can’t raise our voice in Uttar Pradesh. This is autocracy. We are heading towards the end of democracy. Democracy is being suppressed. Constitutional rights are being ended,” said Madhu Garg, a senior member of All Democratic Women Association.

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