TDN World: SIO member and Jamia student activist who plyed a crucial role in the anti-CAA movement has been arrested by Delhi police on Sunday. Issuing a press note SIO demaned release of all political prisoners including Jamia student activist and SIO member Asif Iqbal.
Responding to the arrest of Asif Iqbal SIO of India President Labeed Shafi said, “Asif Iqbal’s arrest is shameful, arbitrary and a blot on the constitution.”
“He has been arrested by the Delhi police on trumped up charges”.
Asif is the latest among Jamia students and other anti-CAA activists who have been arrested during the lockdown. Like all previous arrests, the police have put forward no hard evidence to justify his arrest.
It must also be remembered that Asif has been harassed by the Delhi police and repeatedly called ofr interrogations many time in the last five months, ever since the anti-CAA protests began in December last year. Despite finding no evidence of any unlawful activities, the police have repeatedly questioned and harassed him under different pretenses, including during the lockdown period, and finally arrested him.
“We know for a fact that this repeated harassment followed by the arrest is not for any crime Asif may supposedly have committed. His only crime has been exercising his God-given right to question the government and assert his status as a free citizen of India. This is the same crime for which Meeran Haider, Safoora Zargar and many others have been arrested,” Shafi said in a presser issued on Monday.
Taking to Twitter the SIO President also expressed concern over the state’s supressive behaviour to its students and activists.
Demanding release of Asif Iqbal he wrote, “We are suffering, not just from COVID, but crisis of hunger and crisis of hatred against Muslims. State is racially profiling Anti CAA Protesters. We will continue to do what is the duty of citizens. You cannot Silence the Truth.”
SIO also question the role of Delhi Police under the supervision of ome Minister Amit Shah.
“During a debilitating national health emergency when all our collective efforts must be directed towards fighting Covid-19 and easing the pain of the severe lockdown for our poorest and most vulnerable fellow citizens, the Delhi Police under the leadership of the Home Minister Amit Shah has been carrying out a shameful agenda of silencing democratic voices and leadership. The only purpose of these arrests is to put fear in the hearts of all those who question this government and their bigoted agenda, and to ensure that the movement for equal citizenship that has ignited across the country does not continue after the lockdown is lifted,” SIO said in the communiqué.
SIO also showed firmness to stood by Jamia anti-CAA activist Asif Iqbal and others who have been arrested so far “for exercising their most fundamental natural rights”.
“We stand firmly by Asif Iqbal and everyone who is being harassed, hounded and arrested for exercising their most fundamental natural rights. Asif and all other students and activists must be released immediately not only because their arrests are wrongful, but because their continued incarceration is a blot on the constitution itself. The current crisis is a litmus test for the constitution and the system of rights that hold this country together, and we look to the judiciary and the entire legal apparatus,” said Labeed Shafi.
Earlier the Delhi Police arrested Safoora Zargar, a pregnant Ph D scholar, Meeran Haider, Shifa Ur Rehman, president of Alumni Association of Jamia for their active pariticipation in the anti-CAA protests.
Last Thursday The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)slammed the Narendra Modi government for targeting the anti-CAA protesters and Muslim activists during the pandemic Covid-19 lockdown.