They had assembled on the call of ‘Together for Peace’’
Ahmed Kasim | Clarion India
NEW DELHI — Around three dozen people, mostly youth activists, were detained by police in the afternoon of Tuesday, August 10. It happened at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. They were taken by bus to Mandir Marg Police Station where they were locked up for two hours.
They had gathered on the call of “Together for Peace” to protest against the hate-mongering that was done at the same place on August 8 by Hindutva fanatics led by a senior BJP leader.
I along with @ShyamMeeraSingh and others have been detained by Delhi Police from Jantar Mantar.
Police silently watched Hindu supremacists raising genocidal slogans while we are being criminalsed. This just shows the institutional state-backed hindutva supremacy.
— Afreen Fatima (@AfreenFatima136) August 10, 2021
“They come here and hold a communal rally but police watch as mute spectators. They have state support. Even if they lynch Muslims, the police will keep their arms closed,” said Afreen Fatima, a student activist who is associated with the Fraternity Movement.
Activists of All India Student Association (AISA), the organisation most active on university campuses, were also part of Tuesday’s protests.
As the demonstration started the police swarmed around a handful of protestors and warned that crowds in view of Covid-19 protocol would not be allowed and that they should disperse. The activists ignored the warning. The police responded by rounding them up and bussed them to Mandir Marg Police Station.
“Just two days back a big crowd was brought here and allowed to make hate-speeches and raise provocative slogans. But when we are holding a peaceful rally we are detained,” shouted one of the protestors while being dragged by police into the bus.
This is Delhi police at Jantar Mantar during a protest against hate speech event. Wish Delhi police would have been as active while said hate speech event was taking place here. pic.twitter.com/Nn6ouAdR8G
— Ismat Ara (@IsmatAraa) August 10, 2021
As the word spread about the detention, more people poured in and started demonstration at the gate of the police station demanding release of those detained.
“A group comes and shouts anti-Muslim slogan in the midst of national capital in day light but police did not stop them and now it’s our constitutional right to raise voice against their anti-constitutional acts,” Talha Abdal, the secretary of Fraternity Movement said while addressing the demonstrators.
Swali Prakash, the president of AISA in Delhi University, said Muslims are being suppressed but we want to tell the Modi government that we will not stay silent.
After a wait of close to two hours, the police eventually released the protestors who were received by their colleagues with cheers.
“I had come to show my resentment against the anti-Muslim rally but the way police dealt with us is shameful,” said Najmuddin, a Delhi-based civil society activist who was among those who were detained.