September 16, 2020 1:01:08 pm
A group of activists on Wednesday released a statement against the “brazenness” of the Delhi Police investigation in the Delhi riots. Demanding that activists arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) be immediately released, the statement said, “The real culprits — who in broad daylight threatened to clear the protest site by force or those who came with guns into protest sites, or those who chanted provocative and violent slogans — remain free. Even all democratic voices of dissent are being gradually implicated,” the statement read.
The statement comes days after the Delhi Police Special Cell arrested former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Umar Khalid under the stringent UAPA. The police have invoked provisions of the UAPA to investigate the alleged “larger conspiracy” behind the riots.
Among the signatories are former Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed, lawyer Prashant Bhushan, JNUSU former president and CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar, CPIML leader Kavita Krishnan, former DUTA president Nandita Narain, and senior journalist Pamela Philipose.
The activists also alleged that Delhi Police has resorted to “a sinister plan to brand, target, frame and arrest all those voices that dared to speak up against the unconstitutional and immoral CAA.” “The ruling party has resorted to what it does best. It has deployed the police, a pliant media, and all the draconian laws at its disposal to unleash a vicious witch-hunt particularly against young minds. They do not want them to dream of an inconclusive, pluralist, egalitarian India.”
At the presser held in New Delhi, Umar Khalid’s speech — made before his arrest — was also played. According to police, an FIR was registered against Khalid on March 6 based on information provided by an informer to Sub-Inspector Arvind Kumar of the narcotics unit of the Crime Branch. As per the FIR, Kumar said the informer told him that the Northeast Delhi riots in February were part of a “premeditated conspiracy” allegedly hatched by Khalid, one Danish, and two others associated with different organisations.
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