A 20-year-old who raised anti-CAA slogans at Home Minister Amit Shah’s rally at Babarpur on Sunday has alleged that he was immediately “pulled from the back and pushed to the ground by people in the audience. Some of them also grabbed chairs to hit me”. He also alleged Delhi Police coerced him to write a letter stating he is mentally unstable.
Showing minor injuries he sustained on the face, back and leg, Harjit Singh, who screamed “CAA waapas lo” in the middle of Shah’s address, said he did not anticipate such an aggressive response from the crowd.
Sitting in his house at Sangam Vihar a day later, he also alleged that Delhi Police took him to the police station and locked him up despite not committing any crime. “I wasn’t even informed on what charges I was locked up. The police officers directed me to write a letter in which I was made to say I am not mentally stable and wasn’t aware of what I was doing. If I hadn’t written the letter, they would have not released me,” he alleged.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (North East) Ved Prakash Surya denied Singh’s allegations and said they have not taken anything in writing from him. “We rescued him and first took him to the hospital. After his MLC report, we verified his details and handed over his custody to his parents after calling them,” he said.
A BA second-year political science student of Delhi University’s School of Open Learning, Singh claimed that police took him directly to the police station and not to the hospital, even though he complained of pain and bruises.
On Sunday, he was wearing a t-shirt that has “Indian” printed on it; on Monday, his 17-year-old sister showed the t-shirt, torn from the arms and ruffled.
“I was on my way to attend a protest in Seelampur and saw heavy police presence in Babarpur. When I asked the officers about it, they told me Shah was coming. I saw him and thought this was the right time to register my protest. Hum darte nahi, humein apni awaaz rakhne ka haq hai,” he said.
As Shah began to speak about implementation of the CAA, Singh’s voice pierced through the crowd.
As he was taken away by security, Shah said: “Arey yaar le lo isko, security waale le jao isko… uss ladke ko zara salamat le jaayein aap, jaldi bahar le jao usko.”
Singh said he believes in “Bhagat Singh’s ideology” and for “standing up for humanity and what’s right”. “While bringing in CAA, the government should not mention specific religions but should rather say minorities,” he said.
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