Muslim Organisations, Civil Society Leaders Express Concern over Crackdown on Muslim Social Activists During Lockdown
NEW DELHI, APRIL 9—Expressing serious concern over the arrest of Muslim social activists and students leaders during the lockdown, Muslim organisations, civil society activists and prominent citizens have appealed to Home Minister Amit Shah to restrain the Delhi police from harassing Muslim activists at a time when the entire country is fighting the menace of coronavirus pandemic.
In a joint statement, civil society and religious leaders belonging to different groups said that at a time when many of them were engaged in providing emergency help for stranded labourers and poor sections of the society by giving them free food and shelter during these difficult times, a series of detentions and arrest of social activists and students was being carried out by the Delhi police.
The civil society leaders said that “upon preliminary study, it appears that police crackdown is directed against those involved in the peaceful anti-CAA/NRC movement which was undertaken for the protection of the Constitution, democratic ethos and civil liberties”.
They said that “highly respected social activists are being implicated in false cases related to North-East Delhi riots of February 2020”. These leaders alleged in the statements that the activists were being asked to go to the police stations for interrogation during the lockdown.
“At this time, when the courts are partially working and communication is limited due to the lockdown, these steps tantamount to unnecessary harassment by the Delhi Police and causing immense anxiety and difficulty to these law-abiding citizens who are currently engaged in social work and helping the poor and needy”, the joint statement said.
Appealing the Home Minister “to direct the Delhi police to refrain from harassing the activists and targeting people belonging to a particular community during the pandemic and the lockdown”, the civil society leaders said that the Delhi police enjoyed the reputation of being the best police unit in the country. They hoped that the Delhi police would desist from any action that would harm its reputation and give scope to people to level accusations of bias and non-professional conduct when the whole world was struggling to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
“The anti-CAA-NRC protests were called off because of the coronavirus pandemic. If such excesses by the police continue and ordinary citizens and social activists become the target of their vindictive action, then it would be difficult for the citizens to protect their fundamental rights with limited access to legal remedies during lockdown period”, the statement said.
The signatories of the letter are:
Maulana Tauqeer Raza, President, Milli Ittehad Parishad
Mr Udit Raj, former Lok Sabha MP.
Dr Zafarul Islam Khan, Chairman, Delhi Minorities Commission, Delhi
Mr Syed Sadatullah Hussaini, Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Hind
Mr Ravi Nair , President , SAHRDC
Maulana Asghar Ali Salfi , Ameer Markazi Jamiat Ahlehadis
Dr Manzoor Alam, Chairman, IOS
Maulana Syed Tanvir Hashmi, President, Ahle Sunnat Waljamat, Karnataka
Mr Prashant Tandon, Sr Journalist & Analyst
Mr Navaid Hamid, President, AIMMM
Ms Uzma Naheed , Founder IIWA
Mr Anil Chamadia, Senior Journalist
Mr M A Khaliq, Fr Administrative Officer, Columnist, Educationist
Mr M R Shamshad Advocate SC
Mr Ehteshamul Haq, Advocate SC
Prof. Ms. Hasina Hashiya , All India Milli Council
Mr Ambrish Roy, Sr RTE Activist
Mr Labid Shafi President, Student Islamic Organization of India
Prof Salim Engineer, GS , Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity
Mr Siraj Sait, Banglore. GS IUML
Mr Md Sulaiman , President INL
Mr SQR Ilyas , President WPI
Mr TA Rahmani , President MPCI
Mr Mashkur Usmani, Student leader AMU
Mr Mujtaba Farooq, Director Public Relations - JIH