The arrest of former Jawaharlal Nehru College scholar Umar Khalid for his alleged function within the large-scale communal violence in February in North East Delhi over the Citizenship Modification Act has attracted widespread condemnation. The Delhi Police’s Particular Cell arrested Khalid on Sunday evening beneath the Illegal Actions (Prevention) Act after practically 11 hours of questioning.
Khalid was produced earlier than the court docket on Monday. The police sought his custody for 10 days. The court docket has reserved its order.
Activist group United Towards Hate, of which Khalid is a member, stated he was one other sufferer. “The fairy story narrative that DP [Delhi Police] has been spinning and criminalising protests within the garb of investigating riots, finds one more sufferer,” the group stated in an announcement, in accordance with NDTV.
In the meantime, no less than 36 residents and teams, together with eminent personalities like author Arundhati Roy, advocate Prashant Bhushan, Delhi College professors Nandini Sundar and Apoorvanand, issued an announcement calling for his fast launch. “With deep anguish we’ve got little doubt in saying that this investigation just isn’t concerning the violence in February 2020 within the nationwide Capital, however on the fully peaceable and democratic protests throughout the nation in opposition to the unconstitutional CAA,” they stated within the assertion.
“The proper to life, is not only to be allowed to eat, stay and breathe; it’s to stay with out worry, with dignity and with freedom of expression, together with dissent,” the assertion added. “The character of investigation has been primarily to silence democratic voices and instill worry, and that is exactly the target of this witch hunt.” The signatories additionally included activists Aakar Patel, Kavita Srivastava, journalist P Sainath, historian Ramachandra Guha, economist and JNU professor Jayati Ghosh and politicians Jignesh Mevani and Brinda Karat.
By the way, a number of the signatories of the assertion have been named by the Delhi Police as individuals who had “inspired” the anti-Citizenship Modification Act protestors as a part of a plan. The police’s chargesheet had annexed two similar “disclosure statements”, during which the Delhi Police claimed that Pinjra Tod activists Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal admitted to not simply their complicity within the violence, but in addition named Jayati Ghosh, Apoorvanand and filmmaker Rahul Roy as their “mentors”, who requested them to hold on the protests even when it led to violence.
Amnesty India known as Khalid’s arrest “one other instance of the crackdown on peaceable anti-CAA protests”. The rights group additionally identified that the police have taken no motion in opposition to political leaders who made alleged hate speeches earlier than the violence.
It added that peaceable protest was not a criminal offense. It accused the federal government of utilizing the stringent UAPA to “harass, intimidate and imprison” protestors. “The sluggish investigative processes and very stringent bail provisions beneath this regulation make sure that they’re locked up for years with out trial, turning the method into punishment,” it added.
The JNU Academics’ Affiliation additionally condemned the arrest and known as it a “by no means ending witch hunt” by the Delhi Police. “The JNUTA notes that Umar Khalid had additionally been a kind of specifically focused throughout the vicious slander marketing campaign unleashed in opposition to JNU in February 2016 and had then been charged with ‘sedition’,” the affiliation stated in an announcement. “The JNUTA provides its voice to these of 1000’s of residents protesting in opposition to what just isn’t merely a technique of criminalization of dissent but in addition a de facto criminalization of regulation enforcement itself.”
IPS officer Rupin Sharma was amongst these to talk out in opposition to the arrest on Monday. Sharing a clip of BJP chief Kapil Mishra’s inflammatory speech forward of the violence, Sharma stated in a sarcasm-laden tweet: “Have misplaced my spectacles however Is that this Umar Khalid?”
Clashes had damaged out between supporters of the Citizenship Modification Act and people opposing it in North East Delhi in February, killing 53 individuals and injuring tons of. The violence was Delhi’s worst for the reason that anti-Sikh violence of 1984.