New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh Police has created a watchlist for the Citizenship Amendment Act protests, ‘Watchlist CAA protest’, on its official Twitter handle. The list is restricted to just the UP police’s handle and there is little information on what the list entails.
There is no information on who all are being monitored in the list and what the UP police wants to do with it.
ThePrint got in touch with the UP Police DSP (social media) Vandana Sharma but she denied having any information about the watchlist or about citizens being added to such lists. She asked this reporter to get in touch with the UP Police SP (social media).
UP Police SP (social media) Mohammad Imran didn’t respond to calls until the time of publishing this report.
The list came to the fore when journalist Swati Chaturvedi put up a screenshot of the UP police adding her to the watchlist.
— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) December 24, 2019
The UP Police Twitter handle responded to the journalist saying that this list has been created in order to promptly address public discourse on important issues.
Ma'am @bainjal, we respect all opinions, including contrarian , as you can see from our timeline. Please do not read much into a housekeeping work of grouping, aimed at quickly reaching to public discourse around an important issue for responding promptly with our view.
— UP POLICE (@Uppolice) December 24, 2019
The UP police has not elaborated on the public discourse it hopes to address. The purpose of the list and names of any other journalists or citizens having been added to this list are also not known.
Bengaluru cops tracking ‘provocative’ social media posts
The UP police watchlist comes on the back of the Bengaluru police tweeting that they are tracking and storing provocative posts on social media.
Dear citizens, We are watching & storing every provoke posts, Please beware of spreading hatred for you own good. #144crpc
— BengaluruCityPolice (@BlrCityPolice) December 20, 2019
The UP police is also under the scanner for its actions against the protesters. The police has been blamed for the deaths of 16 protesters across the state.
On Friday, the UP police had detained The Hindu’s correspondent Omar Rashid. Rashid alleged that he was detained by the cops over his Kashmiri identity and was accused of spreading unrest and lawlessness.
After a series of violent clashes between police personnel and anti-CAA protesters in Bijnor, Lucknow, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar in the past nine days, internet has been cut off in 25 districts of Uttar Pradesh, with only BSNL 2G services working in a few areas.