Students Detained from outside UP Bhawan in Delhi While Protesting against Incarceration of Dr Kafeel Khan
NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 20— Around 50 students, many of them from Jamia Millia, were detained near the Uttar Pradesh Bhawan Thursday afternoon when they were protesting against the incarceration of Dr. Kafeel Khan for his AMU speech. The protesters were taken to the nearby Mandir Marg police station.
“Around 50 students are detained. All the detainees are in Mandir Marg Police Station,” said Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) which had given the call for protest.
“We demand that all our students be released immediately. Since when is protesting a crime in this country? Why is our right to dissent being suppressed so blatantly,” asked JCC. The detained people are likely to be released by 5 PM today.
Dr. Khan had made a speech at a protest demonstration against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Aligarh Muslim University on December 12, day after the passage of the controversial citizenship law. Yogendra Yadav of Swaraj Abhiyan had also addressed the gathering on the same day. The UP government lodged a case against Dr. Khan and UP police arrested him at Mumbai airport on January 29. He was brought to UP and sent to jail. The Aligarh district court granted him bail on February 10 but he was not released for next three days. Just before he was to be released from jail on February 14, the state government booked him under stringent National Security Act (NSA), effectively nullifying his release.
Following the Dec 19-20 protest demonstrations against CAA across UP, the state government booked thousands of people and arrested hundreds of them. The government has also issued damage notices against hundreds including former IG of the state SR Darapuri, Senior advocate of Allahabad High Court Mohammad Shoaib and renowned social activist and Congress leader Sadaf Jafar.
Condemning the crackdown by UP government on anti-CAA protesters, the JCC said: “Innocent people are being thrown into jails. They are being slapped with draconian laws such as UAPA, NSA & others. We demand that all political prisoners be released without delay. When state turns rogue, who is going to protect the rights of the citizens?”