Another Jamia Student Asif Tanha Arrested, Students Launch Social Media Campaign for His Release
Syed Ali Ahmed | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI, MAY 18—The Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) university student Asif Iqbal Tanha, who was arrested in connection with organising anti-CAA protests and violence on December 15 last year, has been remanded to judicial custody till May 31.
The 24-year-old student studying his BA(Third Year) in Persian language was arrested in connection with FIR number 298/19 registered at the Jamia Nagar Police Station on December 16, 2019. His name is mentioned as an accused in the FIR. The provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) has not been invoked against Tanha.
A Crime Branch official said that Tanha was a key member of the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) and took active part in organising the anti-CAA protests outside the Jamia campus that resulted into a violent incident on December 15.
Police said that Tanha is a close associate of Umar Khalid, Sharjil Imam, Meeran Haider and Safoora who have been the key members of anti-CAA protests and subsequent riots. According to police, Tanha is also a member of the Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) of India.
Hailing from Bihar, Tanha lived in a rented accommodation in Shaheen Bagh. His parents live in Bihar.
Before his arrest, Tanha was called by police several times and questioned by Delhi Police Special Cell. He was taken in detention on Saturday but shown arrested on Sunday when he was presented before a metropolitan magistrate who remanded him to judicial custody.
On December 15 when Jamia students were taking out a march to Parliament to oppose CAA, violence took place with police and students clashing with each other in New Friends Colony. While police blamed the students for the violence, students accused the police of assaulting them without provocation. Four government buses and two police vehicles were also torched. Police blamed the students but students alleged that burning the buses and the police vehicles was the handiwork of the police itself to prepare a case against students who were taking out a peaceful march.
Later on, police barged into the university campus without permission of varsity authorities and beat up students studying inside the Jamia library. The police also damaged costly equipment inside the library and beat up whoever came within their sight and reach. A total of 40 students were reported to have been injured, including one who lost vision in one of his eyes. Jamia vice-chancellor Prof. Najma Akhtar, taking a strong objection to the police behaviour, had sent a written complaint for registration of an FIR against the policemen entering the campus without permission. She had also sent a letter to Human Resource Development Ministry seeking compensation for the equipment damaged by the police in the university.
Meanwhile, Jamia students have launched #ReleaseAsifIqbalTanha and #ReleaseAsifTanha campaign on the social media.
One of the students said that “it is witch-hunting of Muslim students during pandemic”.
The Delhi police have now arrested another Jamia Student Asif Iqbal Tanha because he was an active participant in the Anti-CAA protests. Witch-hunting of Muslim students is going on even in the Pandemic.#ReleaseAsifTanha pic.twitter.com/XEsTZaQr01— دانش Danish (@Quell_Ali) May 18, 2020
Another student alleged that “Delhi police are totally Islamophobic and against the Muslims. We demand immediate release of all student activists who are framed in fake cases”.
Witch-hunting of Muslim Student Activist continues by the Delhi police during this pandemic.— faisal nadeem (@faisalnadeem93) May 17, 2020
Delhi police are totally Islamophobic and against the Muslims.We demand the immediate release of all the student activist who is framed in fake cases.#ReleaseAsifTanha pic.twitter.com/oMhEZj7Uuq
Delhi unit of SIO, of which Tanha is a member, demanded immediate release of Tanha. “We demand immediate and unconditional release”, SIO Delhi tweeted from its official twitter handle.
Jamia student Aysha Renna tweeted, “The state continues to hunt down voices of dissent. Asif has been a strong voice in the Anti-CAA movement. His arrest is highly condemnable. Speak up for his immediate release”.
The state continues to hunt down voices of dissent. Asif has been a strong voice in the Anti-CAA movement. His arrest is highly condemnable.— Aysha Renna (@AyshaRenna) May 17, 2020
Speak up for his immediate release. #ReleaseAsifTanha pic.twitter.com/9G4mNKfqkw
One Danyaal Tahsildar tweeted, “This is what Fascism is. If you dare to protest against any policy of the Government which you find improper in any sense, you will be detained just to silence others”.
“Delhi police must stop it's shameless witch hunting of anti-NRC protesters.The arrest of Asif Iqbal is another reminder that Delhi police is only interested in using this lockdown as a cover for illegal and baseless arrests. Delhi police must be made accountable", Labeed Aliya tweeted.
Anas Khan tweeted, “ History will remember corona less a pandemic and more a drive of witch-hunt and persecution of Muslims. This pandemic has proven to be a powerful tool for fascist forces to slay #Muslim leading voices”.
Earlier, police arrested Jamia students Meeran Haider, Safoora Zargar and Alumni Association of Jamia Millia Islamia president Shafi-ur-Rehman under provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).