Lawmakers, Activists Demand Release of Jailed Student Leader Atikur Rahman

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“Arrested on a false case under the politics of hatred of the Modi regime, an innocent is now under threat. We demand that the judiciary step in urgently and grant immediate bail to Atikur Rahman,” reads a statement signed by a number of lawmakers, activists and authors

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – Amid reports of his deteriorating health, lawmakers and noted activists, on Friday, demanded the release of student leader Atikur Rahman pointing out that “an innocent’s life is now under threat”.

29-year-old Atikur, who was arrested along with Siddique Kappan in October 2020 when they were going to Hathras where a Dalit girl was gang-raped and murdered, has been hospitalised on 29 August when his condition deteriorated. Last year, he had undergone a heart surgery. He has been a heart patient since 2007.

“Arrested on a false case under the politics of hatred of the Modi regime, an innocent is now under threat. We demand that the Judiciary step in urgently and grant immediate bail to Atikur Rahman. India cannot afford another Stan Swamy behind bars. Atikur’s life is in danger, and we must raise our voices for him,” reads a statement released by a number of lawmakers, activists and authors.

The statement was signed by Congress MP Adul Khaleque, Congress MLC BK Hariprasad, Author Tushar Gandhi, prominent activists Prof Apoorvanand and Kavita Krishnan.

Talking about Atikur’s health condition, the statement said that it is deteriorating day by day. He has fallen ill two times after the surgery because of unhygienic conditions, less nutritious foods, and lack of care inside the jail. Ever since he was arrested, the jail authorities provided him treatment only after continuous legal fight and protests. Now he can’t move his left hand and it is reported to be numb.

Earlier, talking to Clarion India, Rahman’s wife Sanjid Rahman said that her husband is between life and death. He is not able to recognize anybody. He does not know what he is talking about.

“The UP police’s unjust, inhuman treatment of Hathras Dalit girl and her family forced the BJP government to stay backfoot. The entire nation came to support the family, and Atikur also wanted to express his solidarity with the family, but the police arrested him in the attempt to deviate the public from the issue. They concocted a story of inciting communal violence and terror link, and slapped them with stringent UAPA. His arrest was a part of the government’s dire need to hide their ugly face from the media,” they said in the statement.

Prof. Maneesha Sethi, Prof. Nivedita Menon, Prof PK Vijayan, Prof. Nandita Narain, Swetha Bhat, SQR Ilyas, Safoora Zargar, Sharjeel Usamani, Afreen Fatim, Praseenjeet Kumar, Fahim Irshad, etc. were others who signed the statement.

On Wednesday, a social media campaign was also launched demanding the release of Rahman under the hashtag #SaveAtikurLife.

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