Student Leader Atiq-ur-Rehman Swinging Between Life & Death inside Jail, Laments Wife

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“On 29th August, he was being taken to the doctor for check-up. On the way, his condition deteriorated to such an extent that he fell unconscious. Till now, he is unable to recognise people and does not understand what he is saying,” said Sanjida Rahman, wife of the UAPA accused

Waquar Hasan | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Wife of Atiq-ur-Rehman, the student leader who was arrested along with Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan in October 2020, said that her husband is between life and death in the jail and asked whether the government would bring him back if something happened to him.

Two days ago, 28-year-old Atiq was admitted to a hospital in Lucknow after his health deteriorated. He has been suffering from heart ailment since 2007. In November last year, he was admitted to All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) for heart surgery.

“On 29th August, he was being taken to the doctor for check-up. On the way, his condition deteriorated to such an extent that he fell unconscious. Till now, he is unable to recognise people and does not understand what he is saying,” said Sanjida Rahman while talking to Clarion India.

She said Atiq could recognise her only after her name was called out. However, he could not recognise others even if their names were called out.

Sanjida is deeply concerned for her husband and her two children.

“Please tell me will the government bring back my husband if something bad happens to him. I can’t take a bigger risk than this. As his condition is deteriorating, his life is under threat… being a heart patient, anything could happen to him,” she said.

Sanjida asked what kind of freedom we have if my husband is not granted bail when he is between life and death.

“In such a condition, a man can die even if he is not in a situation of death. I only request the government that my husband be granted bail as soon as possible,” she said.

Sanjida pointed out that her husband has turned out to be a pale shadow of her former self. He does not look the way he used to.

Rejecting all the allegations levelled against him, she said there is nothing wrong in raising voice for your rights. What’s wrong in opposing the government? How can we call the country ‘independent’ when we don’t have freedom of speech, move and act?

She further said that only Muslims’ freedom is being curtailed by the government. All those who are arrested in this case are Muslims. They are not being granted bail. Others who are involved in the bigger crime are being freed.

Atiq, a resident of Muzaffarpur district and a research scholar in library sciences at Choudhary Charan Singh University in Meerut, accompanied Kappan, Masood Ahmed, a master’s student at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia and CFI office-bearer and taxi driver Muhammad Alam, on their way to Hathras where a Dalit woman was raped and murdered by four upper-caste men.

UP Police arrested all of them using sections 151, 101, and 116 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The FIR filed against them on 5 October 2020, a day after their arrest, invoked eight sections of five laws, including the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) 1967.

The sections invoked against them were 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between groups) and 295A (outraging religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code 1860; sections 65 (tampering with computer source documents), 72 (the penalty for breach of confidentiality and privacy) and 76 (confiscation) of the Information Technology Act 2008, and sections 14 (offences to be cognizable) and 17 (punishment for raising funds for the terrorist act) of the UAPA.

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