Several civil society members across the country issued a statement on Friday in support of an Ahmedabad-based anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) activist who was issued a show-cause notice for externment in July, for his alleged involvement in criminal activities.
Kaleem Siddiqui (39) a resident of Bapunagar, was one of the organisers of the two-month-long Shaheen Bagh-like anti-CAA agitation in Rakhial of Ahmedabad. The protest which started on January 14 was called off on March 14 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On July 17, the office of M A Patel, Assistant Commissioner of Police (A division), Ahmedabad Police, had sent a show-cause notice to Siddiqui stating that the police department was contemplating to extern him for two years from Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Mehsana and Kheda.
Siddiqui on July 30, had presented himself before the police and denied the allegations made against him, in a written response.
Expressing solidarity, the civil society signatories to the statement, which include historian Ramchandra Guha, former Amnesty International head Aakar Patel, independent MLA Jignesh Mevani, retired ambassador of India Madhu Bhaduri and others, have stated that the police’s action appears to be an attempt to “silence dissent by civil society actors and the Muslim community,” and is “condemnable and unwarranted.” They have sought that the notice must be revoked immediately.
Siddiqui also filed a plea in Gujarat High Court, challenging the show-cause notice for externment issued against him, while seeking a stay on the operation of it, pending hearing and disposal of the matter.
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