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Friday, June 05, 2020

Sedition charge against me won’t stand in court: DMC head

Zafarul Islam Khan, who had assumed charge of the commission in June, 2017, told The Indian Express that the charges of sedition against him were “baseless” and would not stand in any court of law.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi | Published: May 4, 2020 3:47:00 am
Sedition charge against me won’t stand in court: DMC head Delhi Minorities Commission Chairperson Zafarul Islam Khan, against whom the Delhi Police has invoked charges of sedition, Sunday said that “no amount of intimidation” will make him change his “views and convictions”. (File photo)

Delhi Minorities Commission Chairperson Zafarul Islam Khan, against whom the Delhi Police has invoked charges of sedition, Sunday said that “no amount of intimidation” will make him change his “views and convictions”. Khan, who had assumed charge of the commission in June, 2017, told The Indian Express that the charges of sedition against him were “baseless” and would not stand in any court of law.

“The charges of sedition against me are baseless and will not stand in any court of law. These are similar to the slapping of UAPA on students who were peacefully protesting against CAA-NRC. This is sheer misuse of authority by the rulers of the day, but these will be thrown out in courts. Some top legal experts in the country have told me that the police claims against me will fall flat in courts,” Khan said.

The FIR against Khan, filed on the basis of a complaint made by a doctor, describes a social media post made by him as “provocative that intends to cause disharmony and create a rift in the society”. In the April 28 post, which Khan has not taken down, he had thanked Kuwait for “standing with Indian Muslims”.

He had also written that if “Indian Muslims” are “pushed” to “complain to the Arab and Muslim world about hate campaigns and lynchings and riots”, “bigots will face an avalanche.”

He rejected suggestions that his post hinted towards violence.

“Our PM and External Affairs Minister are busy fire-fighting and talking to their counterparts in the Arab World, our envoys in Arab countries are issuing clarifications, some of our Indians in the Gulf, who abused Islam and Muslims, are facing the music. This is the avalanche I meant and this has taken place as a result of the misdeeds of the hate mongers themselves. By their riots, lynchings and polarisation politics, they give a bad name to our country,” he said.

Khan said he made the post in the context of the reaction from the Arab world, including the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), speaking against the “persecution of Indian Muslims”.

“One such reaction came in the shape of an official decision of the Council of Ministers of Kuwait to intervene in this matter with the OIC and the world community. I saw, rather belatedly, a copy of this decision of the Kuwaiti government… I liked this gesture and decided to thank Kuwait for it. This is how that tweet in question was written,” he said.

Requests for a comment from the Delhi government, which had appointed Khan, went unanswered.

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