On 23rd February 2020, Delhi saw one of the most gruesome riots ever. Major bloodshed, property vandalism and rioting in North East Delhi occurred due to the CAA-NRC issue.
As per the reports, nearly 53 people were killed out of which the majority of those were Muslims. Apart from those killed, more than 200 have sustained severe injuries.
But since the Delhi riots, the police have arrested many Anti-CAA activists.
As per a report by The Wire, a press conference was organised, where Umar Khalid along with DU professor Apoorvanand, activist and author Harsh Mander, activist and Swaraj India’s National President Yogendra Yadav and AISA Delhi President Kawalpreet Kaur called attention to the “continuing attempt by the Delhi Police to falsely implicate” activists of the anti-CAA movement as the masterminds of the February riots.
The panel members also said that “activists and students are suffering in prison under the false anti-terror law for almost 6 months, without any official charges registered against them.”
Young student activists like Safoora Zargar, Devangana Kalita, Umar Khalid, Natasha Narwal and many more have been arrested.
According to The India Express report, the police have also filed a charge sheet against economist Jayati Ghosh, professor Apoorvanand, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Yogendra Yadav and documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy in connection to the February Delhi riots.
Let’s look at these young activists, their “supposed” role in Delhi riots and why police are targeting them.
Anti-CAA protester, former JNU student and activist Umar Khalid was arrested on 14 September, for conspiring and making “provocative” speeches before the Delhi Riots broke out in February 2020.
He came into the spotlight as an active student leader of JNU in February 2016 when an event led to a sedition file. The sedition charges have not been proved to date.
An MPhil student of Jamia Millia Islamia, Zargar came into limelight for actively participating in the Anti-CAA protests in Delhi.
In an open letter by International Federation For Human Rights, it was disclosed that she had been held in Tihar Jail since 15th April and to protect her and her unborn baby from COVID-19 was kept in solitary confinement for almost two weeks.
Post Safoora’s arrest, numerous people online began sharing fake images from explicit videos falsely claimed to be Zargar. Even her marriage and pregnancy were questioned. But according to the report by Alt News these accusations were proven fake.
The Delhi High Court granted Zargar bail on 23 June 2020, and she was later released on 24 June 2020.
Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal
Pinjra Tod founders Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal were arrested on 23rd May in relation to the Delhi riots of February. They were accused of murder, attempt to murder, rioting, and criminal conspiracy.
They have also been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act UAPA for allegedly being part of a “premeditated conspiracy” in the violence.
However, Kalita was granted bail on September 1.
But, she will not be released yet as she has to acquire bail under UAPA.
But what about those, who have allegedly raised slogans like ‘Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko’?
They are roaming free, without even a single FIR filed against them.
Let’s look at those who should also be investigated into.
Shahrukh was spotted targeting gun at the Police and shooting at protestors.
As per reports, he disappeared quickly after firing at the police.
Jamia teen shooter
A 17-year-old openly fired at an anti-CAA crowd outside Jamia Millia Islamia. The shooting resulted in the injury of a postgraduate student.
The teenager was sent to 28-day protective custody by a Juvenile Justice Board (JJB).
In a report by Times of India, the teen, just a few moments before firing, posted, “Shaheen Bagh khel khatam… azaadi de raha hun” on Facebook and made some short live FB videos near Jamia Millia.
Komal Sharma was allegedly identified as one of the masked women, involved in the January 5 JNU attack. She was subsequently identified as an ABVP member.
As per a report by The Indian Express, the attackers asked the students if they belonged to any Left group before beating them up.
Some more inflammatory speeches found around the riots-
#WATCH: BJP MP Parvesh Verma says, "…Lakhs of people gather there (Shaheen Bagh). People of Delhi will have to think & take a decision. They'll enter your houses, rape your sisters&daughters, kill them. There's time today, Modi ji & Amit Shah won't come to save you tomorrow…" pic.twitter.com/1G801z5ZbM
— ANI (@ANI) January 28, 2020
— Sanjay Singh AAP (@SanjayAzadSln) February 25, 2020
The slow investigation process to identify the right people responsible for such horrendous riots is very suspicious. The latest arrest of Umar Khalid, among many students, scholars, writers and activists, involved in anti-CAA is therefore not surprising.
We should be ready for more such unusual and unprecedented arrests since dissent seems to be the latest crime in town.
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This post is tagged under: Delhi riots, North East Delhi riots, CAA-NRC, Delhi, Anti-CAA activists, Umar Khalid, Apoorvanand, Harsh Mander, Yogendra Yadav, Kawalpreet Kaur, Safoora Zargar, Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal, Jayati Ghosh, Sitaram Yechury, Rahul Roy, student leader, sedition, Jamia Millia Islamia, International Federation For Human Rights, Tihar Jail, Delhi High Court, Pinjra Tod, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, UAPA, bail, Md Shahrukh, Juvenile Justice Board, Shaheen Bagh, Facebook, JNU, ABVP, delhi riot arrests police, activists, poets, film maker, students, anti caa protestors, delhi police