Ayodhya Mediator Sreeram Panchu Seeks Z Category Security After Gyanvyapi Issue, Also Petitions CJI Against UP Govt's Action Against Rioters
Senior Advocate Sreeram Panchu has moved the Madras High Court seeking restoration of the Z category security that was provided to him pursuant to directions of the Supreme Court in 2019.
Sreeram Panchu was appointed as a mediator along with retired Judge of the Supreme Court, FM Kalifulla and spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Panchu has now moved the Madras High Court challenging the recent withdrawal of his security.
Senior Counsel S Prabakaran appearing for Panchu submitted before the Bench of Justice N. Sathish Kumar yesterday that the prevailing situation with respect to the Gyanvapi Dispute and the Krishna Janmabhumi Dispute has raised a serious threat to Panchu's life. He also argued that the security was withdrawn without considering the prevailing situation.
In the meanwhile, Sreeram Panchu has signed a letter petition to the Chief Justice of India seeking suo moto cognizance of the alleged illegal detention and bulldozing of houses and police violence on protesters protesting against "objectionable remarks made by BJP spokespersons".
The letter is also signed by former Supreme Court Judges, Justice B. Sudarshan Reddy, Justice V. Gopala Gowda, Justice A.K. Ganguly, and retired High Court judges Justice A P Shah, Justice K Chandru and Justice Mohammed Anwar. Additionally, six Senior Advocates viz. Shanti Bhushan, Indira Jaising, Chander Uday Singh, Prashant Bhushan and Anand Grover have also signed the letter.
"Instead of giving protestors an opportunity of being heard and engaging in peaceful protests, the UP state administration appears to have sanctioned taking violent action against such individuals", the letter says.
"Pursuant to this, the UP police have arrested more than 300 persons and registered FIRs against protesting citizens. Videos of young men in police custody being beaten with lathis, houses of protestors being demolished without notice or any cause of action, and protestors from the minority Muslim community being chased and beaten by the police, are circulating on social media, shaking the conscience of the nation", the letter signed by Panchu says.
The letter says, "In the same spirit, and in its role as custodian of the Constitution, we therefore urge the Hon'ble Supreme Court to take immediate suo motu action to arrest the deteriorating law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh, specifically involving the high-handedness of the police and state authorities, and the brutal clampdown on the fundamental rights of citizens. We hope and trust the Supreme Court will rise to the occasion and not let the citizens and the Constitution down at this critical juncture."
Protests had broken out across the country against the survey ordered inside the Gyanvyapi Mosque and the order of the Supreme Court upholding the sealing of a portion of the Mosque. It was in the background of the said debate that Nupur Sharma made the alleged blasphemous remarks on a television debate. Nupur Sharma had received rape and death threats from those protesting against her remarks, including calls for her beheading. The protests in UP turned into large-scale rioting, which prompted the state's action that Sreeram Panchu and others are objecting to.
The Madras High Court has posted Panchu's plea for Z category security to June 16 and has directed the Respondent State to file its response by then.