The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind approached the Supreme Court against the use of bulldozers to demolish the houses of those accused who are suspected to be involved in criminal incidents such as violence.
In its petition, the Jamiat sought the directions to the Union and state government to not take any “lasting precipitative action” against any person accused of crime. The plea also stated that shelter and housing is a fundamental right and houses cannot be destroyed as a punitive measure.
“Fastening guilt upon persons without any investigation and adjudication by a court thereafter in itself violates the rights of the alleged wrongdoers and demolition of properties of such persons is even more alarming as the administration, acting as an executor has been giving punishments that are not even prescribed for the offences allegedly committed by the targeted persons,” said the Jamiat in its plea.
“In response to alleged acts of violence, the administration in several states has been employing bulldozers to raze down the houses of persons suspected to be involved in such acts/incidents. A number of ministers and legislators, including the Chief Minister and the Home Minister of the state of Madhya Pradesh have made statements advocating such acts and especially threatened the minority groups with the destruction of their homes and commercial properties in case of riots.”
The Central government as well as the States of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat has been named as the respondents by the Jamiat. The organisation said that the acts by the state governments to raze down properties “with vengeance” are against the democratic values of India and its “weakens the justice delivery system” in the country.
The Jamiat in its plea also mentioned several ministers, legislators and other leaders who made provocative statements and appropriated the alleged crime on individuals from minority community, especially Muslims.
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra’s remarks were given special mention in the plea. Narottam Mishra had said that the Government would destroy the houses from where the stones were thrown and that if Muslims carry out such attacks, then they should not expect justice.
Therefore, the plea urged the Ministers, legislators and other leaders to refrain from apportioning criminal responsibility regarding criminal action publicly or through any official communication until determination by a criminal court.
President of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, Arshad Madani posted a tweet on Twitter which said, “Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the dangerous politics of bulldozers that have been started to destroy minorities especially Muslims under the guise of crime prevention in BJP ruled states.”
16 houses and 29 commercial properties were demolished by the district administration on April 11, a day after communal clashes erupted in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone. The shops and houses were mostly owned by Muslim community.
The BJP ruled states are using bulldozers to raze down the houses of accused stating that the houses were built on encroached land. Mostly the houses of the people, accused in spreading violence are being razed down by the state governments to ensure peaceful environment in the states.