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More than 20000 arrested in Chennai and Madurai under PFI’s jail bharo movement against human rights violations

Chennai: Popular Front of India (PFI) started ‘Jail Bharo’ movement in Chennai and Madurai in protest against violation of human rights and targeting of Muslims in false cases of terrorism. The movement started on 7 October in front of Chennai Collector’s office. Addressing the gathering of protesters on this occasion, A. S. Ismail, state president of PFI said that for the past few months in Tamil Nadu an atmosphere of fear among Muslims and demonising them under the pretext of being part of terrorism network, search operation in Muslim populated areas by the police, creating violence in the name of bund, discovery of explosive materials and arms, false news of intrusion of terrorists in coastal areas and projecting them (Muslims) as terrorists and criminals in the eyes of others is being created in this state. Hence they are living in great stress and fear. He said that so far such an atmosphere was being created in northern states of the country by invoking UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) and arresting them indiscriminately but now this strategy is being adopted by the police and security agencies in Tamil Nadu also. He said that a large number of innocent Muslims were arrested by implicating them in false terrorism and other cases but subsequently they were acquitted by courts when no such proofs against them were found, but their tension because of being labelled as terrorists, loss of jobs and their and their family members being suspects in society always haunted them. He said that after being freed by courts neither the police nor government authorities even apologised for their misdeeds nor any financial or other help was giving to them for starting their life anew. He said that in order to protest against this, PFI has started this campaign in order to create awareness among Muslims and other people and also to sensitise the government against the harassment and demonisation of Muslim by the police.

This campaign by PFI was supported by many important Muslim and non-Muslim intellectuals and organisations including VC Party’s chief and MP, Troma Valoon, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI)’s state president T. Baqvi, Indian Tauheed Association’s president S. M. Baqar, Tamil Nadu Muslim Federation’s president A. K. Muhammad Hanif, CPI’s state working committee member M. Veera Pandiain, IUML’s general secretary Fatima Muzaffar, Political observer T.S.S. Mani, NCHRO’s state vice president Prof A. Markas etc who also addressed the protestors. ‘Jail bharo’ movement was lead by PFI’s vice President M. Sheikh Ansari.

In this protest movement more than 20 thousand men and women were arrested but shortly thereafter released. Also, resolutions were passed against violation of human rights of Muslims of Tamil Nadu, Muslims being treated as suspects, use of black laws like UAPA against Muslims, action to be taken against police personnel who take the law in their own hands, implicating innocent Muslim youths in false cases and so on. Resolutions passed in this protest demonstration against the above mentioned illegal acts said that while strongly condemning the continued violation of human rights of Muslims, PFI demands chief minister Jaya Lalita to stop Tamil Nadu police from committing excesses on Muslims and violating their human rights, T N government should immediately release all innocent Muslims who have been falsely implicated in various cases and give them suitable compensations, police and investigating authorities, instead of always implicating only Muslims in all cases of terrorism should investigate all such cases impartially and not partially and with a sense of bias and prejudice, black laws like UAPA were being misused in Tamil Nadu which the state government must put a stop to with immediate effect, restrictious imposed on all demonstrations and demands being made peacefully and within democratic limits should be removed, the drama of implicating and arresting only Muslims being enacted in north Indian states which is being repeated by TN police also must be stopped and police personnel and officers found guilty of such crimes must be penalised and strong action should be taken against them, in accordance with supreme court’s directive that ‘Police Complaints Authority’ should be set up in every state for filing complaints against police or intelligence officers who violate the law, such a ‘Police Complaints Authority’ should be set up in Tamil Nadu also with immediate effect so that complaints against such personnel who violate the law could be filed.