After 150 Days of Detention, Netizens Demand Release of Khalid Saifi, Ishrat Jahan

Activists Khalid Saifi and Ishrat Jahan were arrested at Delhi’s Khureji Khas anti-CAA protest site on Feb 26. — File phot

Netizens also pointed to the partial and partisan attitude of the police. No wonder, the demand to release both the activists came from people from all walks of life

Mohd Aasif  | Clarion India

NEW DELHI — Netizens on Tuesday demanded release of anti-CAA protesters Khalid Saifi and Ishrat Jahan, who have been slapped with the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), and have been incarcerated in jail for more than 150 days without bail.

The Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic lockdown was an excuse to launch the witch-hunt of the protesters organising a movement against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act 2019.

Khalid Saifi was arrested and tortured during the police custody on the pretext of investigation of the alleged conspiracy of the north-east Delhi riots in February month this year.

Umar Khalid, a student activist and former JNU student, pointed out the police brutality and tweeted demanding his release, “At Police Station, Nargis saw her husband Khalid on a wheelchair with a plaster cast on both legs. Khalid told her he had been tortured at the Police Station the previous night. How is this acceptable? #ReleaseKhalidAndIshrat”.

The accused has to prove that he or she is innocent–a dark side of the UAPA. The police are keeping them on the basis of the apprehension. Faisal Nadeem, an AMU student who claims that their identity of being a Muslim is the reason of the incarceration, tweeted, “150 days of illegal arresting under fake charges just because of their Muslim identity and nothing else.” He also believes that no political parties dare to stand and speak for Muslim witch-hunt during this pandemic. “We need to fight this alone and we will fight and win. #ReleaseKhalidAndIshrat”, he said.

Being an activist, Saifi did not only work for his community but acted against hate crimes. One of the young poets, Kaushik Raj giving a definition to his character, tweeted, “When Hindutva mob lynched Insp Subodh Kumar Singh, Khalid Saifi was the first one to visit his family to offer legal help. Becoz he never differentiated between Hindus & Muslims. That’s why this govt is afraid of him as he fought for justice for all. #ReleaseKhalidAndIshrat”.

The demand to release both the activists came from people from all walks of life. Talking about the legitimacy and the constitutional nature of the movement, National President, Progressive Medicos and Scientist Forum, Harjit Singh Bhatti tweeted, “The anti CAA protest was democratic & within the frameworks of constitution then why Anti CAA protestors are languishing in jails from months? Those who ripped off constitution are enjoying states protection & those who demanded justice & equality are punished #ReleaseKhalidAndIshrat.

Netizens also pointed to the partial and partisan attitude of the police. One of the twitter users said that the ones who gave hate speeches in rallies of thousands were relishing the fruits of their hate campaign. Activists who spoke to uphold the constitution were in jail, being tortured and denied bail. “150 days and counting. Not done”, he said!

Kapil Gujjar, who fired bullets at a gathering of women and children in Shaheen Bagh, is out on bail while Ishrat Jahan and Khalid Saifi continue to languish in jail for exercising their democratic right to protest, another tweeted.

Saket Gokhale, a former foreign correspondent, who has been a target for the troll lately, depicts the conditions of the law and order in the country. He tweeted demanding the release of both the activists, “Here’s how the law works in India: BJP terrorists who tried to attack my mom got bail in 24 hours. Khalid bhai & Ishrat who merely protested against the CAA have been in prison since 150 days. Raise your voice & demand that they #ReleaseKhalidAndIshrat.”




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