Updated: February 19, 2021 3:55:50 am
“Release Disha Ravi.” “Rise against illegal arrest of Disha.” This was the direct and precise appeal of the All-India Students’ Association (AISA) and Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA), as members of both the associations, along with the citizens of Chandigarh, got together at the Plaza in Sector 17 on Thursday, to put forth this demand.
As part of the show of solidarity, citizens demanded the release of all political prisoners and also called out to people to rise against “incarceration of democratic voices and the authoritarianism of the government”.
People from various walks of life, including many senior citizens, were part of the show of strength for Disha, a 21-year-old environment activist from Bangalore, who has been charged with sedition by the Delhi police, as students, activists, farmer union members, spoke about the many dimensions of the ongoing farmers’ protest, the role of the youth in supporting the protest and the need to stand united in face of any injustice.
Aman Ratia, a Master’s student at Panjab University and President of AISA, Chandigarh, says that it was important that the people of Chandigarh, who have been supporting the farmers’ protest with all their heart, were made aware of “the issue of student activists like Disha, being arrested and put in jails for raising their voices in support of the farmers”. “While the schools have opened, colleges and universities are shut, and we students cannot come together to lend support to farmers, as we are in different villages and cities. Today, we decided to organise this appeal, for if we don’t speak up against this injustice now, it will be too late. We want to send a message to the youth and public, that there is nothing to fear and it is important that people know the reality of the farmers’ movement and how so many innocent people are being targeted,” says Ratia.
With posters supporting Disha, many academicians spoke about how “voices are being drowned with force and the need of the hour is to fight against injustice with peace and intelligence”.
“This is a collective fight, not of any single community and we must not let anyone give it a religious perspective. The government must scrap all false cases and release student activists,” said Harish Tomal, an activist.
Soumya Thakur, a fourth-year law student at Chandigarh University and part of RYA says that “students are easy targets and that’s why Disha was arrested”. “They cannot instill fear in us. We must come out and speak up and that’s what we are doing here.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines