Drop "Baseless" Charge of Sedition Against Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan: 'Hum Bharat Ke Log'
*Colonial Law Being Used To Threaten Independent Democratic Voice That Speaks For Minority Rights.
*Dr. Khan’s Statement Was Beyond The Purview of His Statutory Position, But Preposterous To Accuse Him of Sedition
NEW DELHI, MAY 13—‘Hum Bharat Ke Log’(We The People of India), a coalition of over 100 organisations, has demanded that the sedition charges against Delhi Minorities Commission Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan be dropped.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the coalition said that the charges against Dr. Khan were “baseless”.
It said that the charges against Dr. Khan was a part of “a sustained campaign to attack, arrest, persecute and spread hate against Muslims under the cover of COVID-19 lockdown”.
The coalition said that he was being framed for “a pro-active role he took to protect minority rights at a time when other democratic institutions have abdicated their constitutional responsibilities”.
The statement further said, “A public statement released by Dr. Khan on April 28th is being used as a pretext to frame him. This statement, issued in his official capacity, warns majoritarian bigots against the international repercussions of persecution of Muslim minority in India. The tenor and timing of the statement was seen as inappropriate from an official of a statutory body. His own subsequent statement acknowledged and apologized for the timing of the statement. But it would be preposterous to call him anti-national on this basis. In no way does this statement amount to sedition. In any case, the law of the land, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, does not permit the use of this colonial law for expression of any opinion”.