Chidambaram and Yechury flay Delhi police for arresting Jamia students

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By Abdul Bari Masoud

New Delhi: Opposition parties on Monday strongly deplored the Delhi police’s “witch hunt” of anti-CAA student activists from Jamia Millia Islamia who we were allegedly “framed”  in the North-East Delhi communal riots.  By this police action, opposition parties alleged that the government wants to put fear in the minds of students and people  in order to curb the dissent against it. Main opposition Congress said the Delhi Police action is highly condemnable as this was not the time to pick up students. While Communist Party India (Marxist) said the (government) is using the lockdown to push its agenda of creating “totalitarian surveillance state”. It said a group of eight political parties had already raised the matter with the President of India asking him to immediately intervene.

Former Union minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said it was improper on the part of police to pick up students in the ongoing lockdown. He said this government does not want any protest and murmur against it.

Responding to a question during a news conference, Chidambaram said the police action is highly condemnable in the given scenario of lockdown and pandemic.

When he was asked that you have also been a former Home Minister, given this scenario of lockdown and pandemic that we are facing with, how do you see when the students of Jamia have been arrested in connection to the Delhi riots right now, many of them picked up during early this morning and yesterday and for the last couple of week?

Chidambaram said police action is condemnable as where students have run away.

“This is not the time to pick up a student and where he has run away. I think, the entire case is false case, but, that is a separate debate, separate discussion, but, even if you identify somebody who has to be questioned, what is the hurry in questioning him today and why can’t you simply issue a notice under section 41 under the Cr.PC, he will appear and answer your questions. Why arrest him?”

The Congress leader further said these actions reflect the state of mind which is inconsistent and incompatible for democracy.

“This is to put fear in the minds of students and people. Listen, don’t protest and don’t murmur, don’t ask questions, we will arrest you. We will put you in custody. This all shows a state of mind which is inconsistent and incompatible for democracy.”

Echoing similar sentiments, Sitaram Yechury, CPI (M) general secretary, said he along with seven other political leaders protested the arrest of activists with the President of India Ramanth Kovind.

When this correspondence raised the issue of Jamia students arrest who were at the forefront of anti-CAA campaign? Yechury,

The leader of the largest constituent of the Left Front said they (the Modi government) are using the lockdown period to implement their agenda to turn the country into “totalitarian surveillance state”.

“This lockdown period of covid-19 pandemic is being used by the government to implement its own agenda which is to enrich the rich and to impoverish the poor. The agenda of curbing of all dissent against the government and attacking democratic rights and civil liberties and creating a totalitarian surveillance state. They are following this agenda in the ongoing human crisis. They have undertaken these activities instead of protecting the life of people and mitigating their sufferings. This shows cruelty and inhuman character of the government.”

Yechury was addressing a press conference, who recalled the a joint letter was written by 8 opposition parties to the President seeking his intervention in the matter.

In the joint letter to the President, the five communist parties and RJD, LJD and VSK, stated that “In Delhi, the police directly under the Home Ministry is arresting prominent activists including women involved in the totally peaceful anti-CAA movement under the draconian UAPA on totally manufactured charges seeking to link them with the communal violence in Delhi. In addition, scores of students are being called for interrogation by the Special Branch and intimidated.”

The letter further pointed out that”In the communal violence in north east Delhi, in spite of prima facie evidence of police connivance and the involvement of mobs attacking minority areas identified in the videos, the Delhi police is making one sided arrests of young Muslim men and interrogating only members of the minority community, creating a sense of insecurity among them.”

The Jamia Coordination Committee also strongly condemned the arrest of Jamia students. Without taking the name of BJP minister Anurag Singh Thakur, MP Parvesh Verma, Kapil Mishra and BJP leaders, Committee pointed out that “when all the conspirators and perpetrators of Northeast Delhi violence are roaming free, it is our leaders who are being sent to jail and slapped by draconian laws”.

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