Witch hunting of Muslim Activists amid lockdown: An attempt to silence dissenting voices

We have witnessed so many ups and downs during the ongoing COVID 19 lockdown. It appears to be a crisis for some while the others make use of it for their own purposes. It has also exposed the nefarious designs and hatred politics of the fascist regime. At this critical time the world was putting all its energy to fight the pandemic, our government seemed to be acting with a political vendetta.

Several Muslim Activists and students have been charged with stringent and draconian law like UAPA (unlawful activities prevention act) in connection with the violence that took place in northeast Delhi over the citizenship amendment act.

The students have also been booked for the charge of sedition, murder, attempt to murder, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and rioting.

The government is targeting Jamia students and trying to victimize them by every possible means. Strategically they are using the pandemic to suppress dissent by arresting Muslim Activists and students. The conspiracy against these dissenting voices is an attempt to silence the opponents. Delhi police seem to be very proactive against these anti CAA protestors in this Lockdown and arresting them under political pressure. The special cell of Delhi police is behaving with students and social activists in such a way as they are terrorist while they were just raising their voices against a discriminatory act like NRC, CAA, and NPR. They had organised peaceful protests in different parts of Delhi.

Protesting peacefully for democratic rights is not a crime at all. It is the fundamental right of each and every citizen. Among those who have been allegedly arrested are Meeran Haider, Safoora Zargar, Shifa Ur Rahman, Asif Iqbal, and Umar Khalid. Meeran Haider a research scholar had been among the leading face in the Anti-CAA movement from the very beginning. He is also a member of the Jamia coordination committee (JCC). Previously he very often had been seen in relief works at the time of calamity and other difficult times.

Safoora Zargar an iron lady is M.Phil student of Jamia and media coordinator of Jamia coordination committee.
Despite being married she has been slandered and countless rumours have been spread about her pregnancy by some Anti-social elements. Her character was assassinated by some rude misogynists.

Shifa ur Rehman president of Jamia alumni and a very active member of JCC has also been booked under the anti-terror law in the case and sent to jail. Asif Iqbal Tanha B.A final year student and a member of students Islamic organisation and the part of JCC has also been slapped with UAPA for allegedly being part of the conspiracy behind the February riot in North East Delhi. Among those names one is Umar Khalid JNU student leader has also been booked for his provocative speeches at different places during the CAA protest.

Why the government targeting only these dissenting voices? Why those hatemongers like Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma, and Ragini Tiwari have not been arrested so far for their provocative speeches. They are the real culprits behind the northeast Delhi violence and they are the only responsible for allegedly inciting people for the violence. The government should have taken strict actions against such miscreants in spite of those who were fighting for saving the constitution.

A few days ago professor Apoorvanand, Prashant Bhushan, Teesta Setalvad and some others who always fight for civil rights have expressed their concern and anxiety on the consecutive arrest of the students through video conferencing and demanded the immediate release of these students and social activist and stop misusing the like UAPA act for suppressing their voices.

All other secular and democratic voices must come forward and stand with Jamia students and all those who are fighting for the constitution and must demand not to criminalise students and repeal the UAPA and all other false charges from them.

Amanatullah Qasmi, a graduate of Darul Uloom Deoband (World’s largest Islamic seminary), currently pursuing PG in Jamia Millia Islamia. He can be reached at mdamanat71@gmail.com views are personal.

Comments: 2