Widesprerad Condemnation of the Arrest of another Jamia student

Asif Iqbal has been a known activist in Jamia associated with Students Islamic Organisation and was part of the anti-CAA struggle in the university in the last few months.

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Taking advantage of COVID19 lockdown, Delhi Police continues to arrest students associated with Jamia University and Anti-CAA protests.

On 17th May, Delhi Police arrested Jamia Milla Islamia student leader Asif Iqbal Tanha. He has been booked for “orchestrating the anti-CAA protests and riots” in Delhi’s Jamia area on December 15. Asif Iqbal Tanha was produced before a metropolitan magistrate who remanded him in judicial custody till May 31.

According to sources, Asif had been called for interrogation by the Special Cell on April 8, he had cooperated with the police and answered all questions asked. This was almost the fifth time he had been called by the Crime Branch for questioning.

23-year-old Asif Iqbal Tanha, who hails from Jharkhand, is a student of the Persian Department at Jamia Millia Islamia. He was taken for interrogation by a special cell of Delhi police on Friday and was arrested by the Crime Branch, Chanakyapuri on Saturday. He was produced before the Duty Magistrate at Saket court.

Crime Branch requested a 3 Days Police Custody Remand for Asif which the Magistrate rejected. Asif has instead been sent to 14 days of Judicial Custody. Two days before his arrest, the Delhi Police raided his hostel room near the university.

Delhi Police has once again added to its growing list of student activists arrested while the nation continues to struggle under yet another extension to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Asif´s arrest is seen as another addition to the recent spate of student arrests who were part of Anti-CAA protests. Civil rights activists have called these actions an attempt to silence democratic voices, and quell any attempts by citizens to question the authorities.

Nadeem Khan, spokesperson of United Against Hope condemned the arrest fo Asif Tanha and calls it a continuation of the relentless witch-hunt of students and activists in the middle of the lockdown caused by the pandemic.

The official statement from the United Against Hate group has been circulated the continuous arrests amid lockdown and how it is dangerous to the health of students-

Many other students have been called continuously for interrogation making a mockery of the lockdown and jeopardizing the health of the student. One head constable in that Special Cell Office has been tested positive with COVID 19.

Asif had been earlier called for interrogation by the Special Cell on 08.04.2020 and he had cooperated with the police. Prior to this, he has been called for interrogation as many as four times by the Crime Branch. He dutifully went there and cooperated as a responsible citizen all the four times. Despite the months-long ‘investigation’ and repeated interrogation, the police have found no evidence against him for the simple reason that he has committed no crime.

This is the third student of Jamia Millia Islamia that the Delhi Police has arrested since the lockdown, after the arrest of research scholars Meeran Haider and Safoora Zargar under the draconian UAPA. Besides, the President of the Jamia Alumni Association Shifa-ur-Rehman is also under custody.

This is a concerted attempt by the Delhi Police to target students of Jamia Millia Islamia, which had emerged as one of the epicentre of the democratic mass upsurge against the unconstitutional CAA. It seems after JNU, the Delhi Police has found a new university to demonize, criminalize and target. A pregnant Safoora continues to remain in prison in the middle of the pandemic at grave risk to her as well as her child’s health and life.

Several democratic forces across the country have expressed outrage at these actions of the Delhi Police. But it seems the Delhi Police is too keen to please its political masters. The real perpetrators and actors who incited and carried out the violence are being left scot-free. They have found the lockdown as the perfect opportunity to target these democratic voices, when there is no possibility of protests and there would hardly be any coverage of its nefarious witch-hunt. We condemn this ongoing witch-hunt of students and anti-CAA activists in the strongest possible terms and demand that all students and anti-CAA activists be released immediately and unconditionally.

 

 

 

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