Noam Chomsky, Mira Nair among 200 authors & filmmakers demand Umar Khalid’s release

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Umar Khalid

By Muslim Mirror Desk

New Delhi , Sep 24: Over  200 intellectuals , educationists, filmmakers and authors, including Noam Chomsky and Mira Nair, issued a joint statement on Wednesday demanding the Centre free Umar Khalid arrested in connection with the northeast Delhi riots.

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Besides Chomsky and Nair, the signatories include actor Ratna Pathak Shah, authors Amitav Ghosh, Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy, and journalist P Sainath.

“We call on the Government of India to free Umar Khalid and all those falsely implicated and unjustly incarcerated for protesting against the CAA-NRC that denies equal citizenship rights and to ensure that the Delhi Police investigates the Delhi riots with impartiality under the oath they took as public servants bound by the Constitution of India,” the statement read.

Khalid has been arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in a case related to the communal violence in northeast Delhi in February this year.

“We stand in solidarity and outrage, with the brave young scholar and activist Umar Khalid, arrested in New Delhi on September 14, 2020, under fabricated charges of engineering the Delhi riots in February 2020,” the statement said.

The statement said that Khalid “used the passion of his commitment to his country, marshalled his education and his voice to join the movement for equal citizenship, against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)” which introduced religion as a criterion for citizenship, and has no place in a secular nation.

“Umar Khalid became a powerful young voice of truth in this movement, speaking at close to 100 meetings across India, in small towns and big cities, upholding the values of India’s constitution; articulating the dreams of all young Indians – of freedom from hunger, deprivation, discrimination and fear. He staked his claim to the full measure of citizenship, he spoke for all marginal peoples, and above all Umar spoke for peace,” the statement read.

“He has been projected as a jihadi, and a figure of hate by sections of a compromised Indian media, not only because he speaks persuasively against government policies that he believes are unjust, but also because he is Muslim,” the educationists and scholars pointed out in the statement.

“Currently, 19 of the 21 people falsely accused under terror laws, are Muslim. If we allow their identity to become their crime, India shall stand shamed in the global community of secular nations. These people are not terrorists, and the police investigation into the Delhi riots is not an investigation. It is a pre-meditated witch-hunt,” they further stressed in the statement.

The Delhi Police had on September 13 said it is investigating the role of all individuals who took part in the February riots and were behind the larger conspiracy of organising violence and inciting communal passion amongst communities.

Responding to former IPS officer Julio Ribeiro’s letter in which he had questioned the Delhi police’s investigation, Srivastava had said that there are several entities who have their reasons to weave a “web of deception” and push a “false narrative of bias and insensitivity” on the part of the police.

He said that police investigations in criminal cases are guided by facts and evidence, not by reputations and personalities.

“Delhi Police are serving the oath and the Constitution with conviction, integrity and sensitivity, without fear of any self-proclaimed true patriots or favour towards any class, creed or community,” Srivastava had said in an email reply to Ribeiro.

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between those supporting the citizenship law and those opposing it spiralled out of control, leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured . Mostly Muslims.

1 COMMENT

  1. india should follow israel. a strong jewish state. all arabs now respect it

    no mercy for jahadi,s and hindu haters.bunch of creeps-put theminto trucks and off to afghanistan, pakistan-

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