Civil Society Strongly Condemn Delhi Police for Falsely Implicating innocent Students Activists in Delhi Riot Cases
New Delhi, 22nd April 2020: We, as activists, academics, and citizens of India from all walks of life, strongly condemn the actions of the Delhi Police in falsely implicating innocent student activists in Delhi riot cases, and booking them under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). 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.
Abusing its powers, the Delhi Police has filed concocted cases against former JNU student, Dr. Umar Khalid and Jamia students Meeran Haider and Safoora Zargar, claiming that the communal violence in North East Delhi was a premeditated conspiracy hatched by them. This narrative is so absurd, and citizens of this country will see through these lies being peddled by the police. 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?
We implore 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; demand that these charges be immediately dropped; demand that those arrested under cover of the COVID-19 lockdown be immediately released.
Issued by1. Prof. Ram Puniyani, Writer & Activist 2. Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan, Chairman, Delhi Minorities Commission 3. Ravi Nair, Convener, Alliance against CAA, NRC and NPR 4. Eng. Syed Sadatullah Hussaini, President JIH 5. Prof Apoorvanand, Delhi Univ. 6. Ms. Farah Naqvi, Writer & Activist 7. Harsh Mander, Ex-IAS, Activist 8. Dr. M. Manzoor Alam, Gen. Sec., AIMC 9. S. R. Darapuri, IPS (Retd), Spokesperson, AIPF 10. Syeda Hameed, Ex Member, Planning Commission 11. Dr. John Dayal, Writer @ Activist 12. Labeed Shafi, President SIO 13. Tapan Bose, Human Rights Activist 14. Ms. Kavita Srivastava, HR Activist 15. Prof Ghazala Jameel, JNU 16. Ms. Aishe Ghosh, President JNUSU 17. Mujtaba Farooq, Asst Convener Alliance Against CAA, NRC, NPR 18. Ms Kavita Krishnan, AIPWA 19. Dr. S.Q.R. Ilyas, President WPI 20. Ms. Manisha Sethi, Writer, Activist 21. Nadeem Khan, United Against Hate 22. Raghvan Srinivasan, President, Lokraj Sangathan 23. Ajit Yadav, Political Activist 24. Javed Naqvi, Writer & Activist 25. Mohd. Sulaiman, President INL