Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has approved the setting up of property damage claim tribunals in Meerut and Lucknow in the aftermath of losses worth crores of rupees due to destruction of public assets in vandalism and arsoning during anti-CAA protests in December last year.
While the Lucknow tribunal will accept claim applications from Jhansi, Kanpur, Chitrakoot Dham, Lucknow, Ayodhya, Devi Patan Prayagraj, Azamgarh, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Basti and Vindhyachal Dham divisions; the Meerut tribunal will have jurisdiction over Saharanpur, Meerut, Aligarh, Moradabad, Bareilly and Agra divisions, the spokesperson said on Monday.
Taking a stand against the anti-CAA protests, the state government had promulgated an ordinance for the recovery of damages from the protesters. The legislation provided for setting up of tribunals to adjudicate the claims of damage.
The Lucknow district administration had last month attached the movable properties of two men accused of vandalism during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Lucknow District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash had said the movable assets of Maahenoor Choudhary and Dharamveer Singh, who are accused of damaging properties during the anti-CAA protests, would be auctioned to recover the damages.
The attachments in Hasanganj area here were done under the Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damages to Public and Private Property Ordinance, 2020.
The protests against the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) had turned violent in the city on December 19, 2019.
The district administration assessed losses worth crores of rupees to public property in the arsoning and violence.
The administration had sent recovery notices worth about Rs 1.55 crore to over 50 people for the damages allegedly done by them during the protests.
In March, the district administration had displayed on hoardings the photographs and addresses of the protesters, including Congress leader Sadaf Jafar, retired IPS SR Darapuri and activist Mohammad Shoaib, to name and shame them.
After the spread of coronavirus and a suggestion from the Allahabad High Court, the Lucknow administration had on March 20 stopped all coercive actions such as the attachment of properties and arresting the protesters to recover the damages.
However, with the easing of the coronavirus lockdown, the district administration started attaching the immovable assets of those accused of vandalising public property during the protests.
FIRs were registered in four police stations in the state capital and notices were served to 54 people for recovery of damages.
In Khadra area, 13 protesters were identified and the loss of property was estimated at Rs 21.76 lakh, while in Parivartan Chowk, 24 people were identified and the loss was estimated at Rs 69.65 lakh.
Ten people were identified in Thakurganj area and the loss was estimated around Rs 47.85 lakh. In Kaiserbagh, six protesters were identified and the loss of property was Rs 1.75 lakh.
The ammended Citizenship Act envisages giving Indian nationality to members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there. It had garnered criticism over the exclusion of Muslims from the list.