#AntiCAAProtestersKoRihaKaro: Netizens Launch Twitter Storm Demanding Release of Activists

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Anti-CAA activists held under UAPA in different jails across Delhi

The drive marks four months of incarceration of former JNU student leader Umar Khalid

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — On Wednesday (13th of January) former JNU student leader and anti-CAA activist Umar Khalid completed four months in jail. He is among 20 activists facing charges of hatching a criminal conspiracy of triggering Delhi riots that shook the national capital in February last year when women were on streets protesting against the controversial citizenship law.

To mark his four months of incarceration activists on social media launched a twitter storm calling on the government to release the activists. Hundreds of tweets were posted under the hashtag #AntiCAAProtestersKoRihaKaro (release anti-CAA protesters) which began trending on twitter at around 5 PM on Wednesday.

The netizens said activists are in jail for “siding with the truth”.

A tweet from the account of United Against Hate co-founder Khalid Saifi, in jail since February last year, said: “He is being punished just for protesting against CAA-NRC. If you believe that protesting is not a crime in a democracy, then you must demand.”

The riots broke out last year when Hindutva supporters took to streets allegedly to clear off the roads occupied by anti-CAA protesters in the Jaffarabad area of Delhi’s north-east.

The rioters were exhorted by speeches of leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The carnage that followed left behind a trail of death and destruction. The police were accused of siding with the rampaging mobs throughout the violence.

The police say they are responsible for instigating the violence, a charge which they are unlikely to prove in a court of law.

However, the police action has drawn severe criticism for going after peaceful activists while “real perpetrators” roaming free.

In October UN Human Rights chief Michael Bachellet urged India to free activists held under UAPA or Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

 

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