Human Rights Defender
Sitapur district, Uttar Pradesh
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on January 23, 2021, regarding misuse of law, forced house arrest, and harassment of HRD, Ms. Richa Singh, by Uttar Pradesh Police. Ms. Singh is the National Convenor of NAPM and founder of “Sangtin Kishan Mazdoor Sangathan’ working for the rights of workers, farmers, Dalits, and women for the last three decades in Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh.
Ms. Singh was stopped by 2-3 bikers along with Chowki in charge of Mr. Chaurasia when she was going to join the farmer's tractor rally on 7th January organized at Sitapur. Through Mr. Chaurasia, the Station House Officer (SHO) of Sehar Kotwali, spoke to Ms. Singh and allowed her to proceed to the rally, she was followed by ununiformed persons throughout the day. Uniform police personnel were present in front of her house when she returned from the rally. She was again stopped by Mr. Chourasia near her house while she was proceeding to Lucknow for a medical appointment that evening. The SHO reached the spot immediately along with 2-3 policemen and women and offered her to take to Lucknow but denied her permission to travel alone. The CO City Mr. Piyush Kumar Singh and the city magistrate came in front of her house. When she asked them to provide official papers for her house detention, she was told by the officers that she would be given the papers soon. No papers were given to her but two policemen were kept on duty in front of her house to ensure that she can’t venture out. The SHO and Sub Divisional Magistrate came to her house the next day and told her that she can’t move out of her house for the next two days. However, she was not handed over any papers in spite of repeated demands by Ms. Singh. She was not allowed to move out of her house between the 7th and 10th of January and no official order or appropriate explanation was offered to her.
The house arrest of Ms. Singh was a completely arbitrary, illegal, and serious violation of constitutionally guaranteed personal liberty with an intention to gag democratic dissent against the government.