By Pervez Bari
New Delhi: Several Human Right activists, social & political activists, writers, academics, and citizens of India from all walks of life in a joint statement have strongly condemned the actions of the Delhi Police for falsely implicating innocent student activists in Delhi riot cases, and booking them under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
They said: “This suppression of civil rights and liberties and targeting of our young democratic voices is reprehensible. We find it utterly shameful that Delhi police is using the COVID-19 lockdown and the enormous humanitarian crisis of hunger confronting our country, as an opportunity to trample on the democratic rights of innocents. This is a time to unite as a nation, not to isolate and target students”.
The activists said that abusing its powers, the Delhi Police has filed concocted cases against former JNU student Dr. Umar Khalid and Jamia students Meeran Haider & Safoora Zargar, claiming that the communal violence in North East Delhi was a pre-meditated conspiracy hatched by them. This narrative is so absurd that citizens of this country will see through these lies being peddled by the police.
The statement stated: “We ask why the real culprits, who actually incited or took part in the violence, continue to enjoy impunity despite ample evidence available against them, including on social media? We ask if Delhi, India’s capital city, whose police force comes directly under the Union Home Ministry, is rapidly becoming a police state, giving the police powers that are unfettered, even by the law of the land.”
The activists implored all citizens of the country, political parties, the judicial system and media to stand united against this injustice; to oppose this brazen abuse of State power to stifle democratic voices; to pressurize the BJP government to stop this targeting and vilification. They demanded that these charges be immediately dropped and that those arrested under cover of the COVID-19 lock down be immediately released.
The signatories to the joint statement included: Prof. Rampuniyani, Writer & Activist; Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, Chairman, Delhi Minority Commission; Ravi Nair, Convener, Alliance against CAA, NRC and NPR; Syed Sadatullah Hussaini, President JIH; Prof. Apoorvanand, Delhi University; Ms. Farah Naqvi, Writer & Activist; Harsh Mandar, ex-IAS, Activists; Dr. M. Manzoor Alam, general secretary, AIMC; S.R. Darapuri, IPS (Retd.), Spokesperson, AIPF; Syeda Hameed, ex-member, Planning Commission; Dr. John Dayal, Writer & Activist; Labeed Shafi, president SIO; Tapan Bose, Human Rights Activist; Ms. Kavita Srivastava, HR Activist; Prof. Ghazala Jameel, JNU; Ms. Aishe Ghosh, president JNUSU; Mujtaba Farooq, Assistant Convener Alliance Against CAA, NRC, NPR; Ms Kavita Krishnan, AIPWA; Dr. S.Q.R. Ilyas, president WPI; Ms. Manisha Sethi, Writer, Activist; Nadeem Khan, United Against Hate; Raghvan Srinivasan, president Lokraj Sangathan; Ajit Yadav, political Activist; Javed Naqvi, Writer & Activist & Mohammad Sulaiman, president INL.
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