At a time when Muslims break fast, Police land up 72-year old Zafarul-Islam Khan’s house

What could be more insensitive act than this. The Delhi Police visited Delhi Minority Comission chairman Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan’s residence on Thursday evening. The police arrived at his residence at a time when Muslims break their fast.

The police, according to media report, asked him to visit the police station.

72-year old Dr. Zafarul Islam suffers from “age related physical illnesses”. Asking him to visit police station is “making him extremely valnerable to the Covid-18 coronavirus”, said his lawyer Vrinda Grover.

Dr. Zafarul Islam has been charged with sedition (124A) and promoting enemity amond diffrent groups (153A).

His only “crime” is a tweet posted on April 28 in which he thanked Kuwait for ‘standing with Indian Muslims’.

Note that in the middle of April a campaign against Islamophobia was launched in the Arab world. The targets of the campaign were those who have been spreading hatred against Muslims.

But the vested interests, with the help of the pliant media, tried to present a campaign against hatemongers as the campaign against India.

It was a part of the same conspiracy to victimize Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan.

Zafarul Islam Khan is an eminent author, journalist and public intellectual. He is also an upright person and a law-abiding citizen.

He has always said that he would cooperate with the police in investigation.

But the Delhi police seem to be working under a political pressure.

At a time when the world is putting all its energy in fighting the pandemic, our government appears to be acting with a political vendetta. It is trying to silence its opponents when it should have been working for giving reliefs to the poor and the workers.

The victimization of Dr. Zafarul Islam is perhaps for two reasons. This upright personality and his immpecable work at the Delhi Minority Commission are seen as impediments for a particular force that believe in the politics of hatred.

The conspiracy against him is an attempt to demonise him so that he looses his voice and credibility among people.

It appears that the police high-handedness and vicious campaign against him are part of this game plan.

For a free, secular and inclusive India, we must work to fail this nefarious design.

All secular and democratic voices must stand with Dr. Zafarul Islam. He once told me, “rights are not given but they are won after a long struggle”.

Lets wage a democratic and peaceful struggle for reclaiming our shrinking democratic space and thwarting the assault on our public intellectuas.

Abhay Kumar is PhD from JNU. Minority Rights and Social Justice are his areas of interests. You may write to him at debatingissues@gmail.com. Views are personal.

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