Protest in Germany over ‘unlawful arrests’ in Delhi

The demonstration took place following the Delhi police’s arrests of rights activists and student leaders who were actively participated in protests against CAA in connection with northeast Delhi violence. Photo: Special Arrangment

Indians living in Germany gathered near Elissenbrunen, city center in Aachen in Germany, on Saturday to protest against police witch-hunting of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) activists and student leaders in India.

The demonstration took place following the Delhi police’s arrests of rights activists and student leaders who were actively participated in protests against CAA in connection with northeast Delhi violence.

“We condemn the unlawful arrests and judicial harassments against student leaders and rights activists. What our demand is an immediate release of all anti-CAA activists who were jailed with false accusations,” a protester said.

A section of the Indian diaspora in Aachen carried placards reading ‘Free Safoora Zargar, Devangana Kalita, Meeran Haider, Natasha Narwal and others’ and ‘Prime Minister of India is a fascist’.

A section of the Indian diaspora in Aachen carried placards reading ‘Free Safoora Zargar, Devangana Kalita, Meeran Haider, Natasha Narwal and others’ and ‘Prime Minister of India is a fascist’. Photo: Special Arrangement

The protesters also raised slogans against the police arrests, the BJP government, and its Hindutva agendas.

The protesters also raised slogans against the police arrests, the BJP government, and its Hindutva agendas. Photo: Special Arrangment

Delhi Police had arrested Jamia Millia Islamia student leaders and Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider and Asif Iqbal Tanha, Jawaharlal Nehru University students and Pinjra Tod activists Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, former Delhi Municipal Councillor Ishrat Jahan, Gulfisha, an MBA student and a coordinator of the women-led sit-in in Seelampur-Jafrabad against CAA, the president of the Alumni Association of Jamia Millia Islamia (AAJMI) Shifa-Ur-Rehman, Aam Admi Party leader Tahir Hussain and United Against Hate activist Khalid Saifi under UAPA charges in Northeast Delhi violence case.

Currently, all are in jail in the national capital Delhi and were denied bail.

Police accused the anti-CAA activists of being key “conspirators” in the Delhi pogrom that erupted in 2020 February. The pogrom is widely acknowledged to have been sparked by incendiary comments made by Kapil Mishra, a BJP leader, about Muslims peacefully protesting against ‘anti-Muslim and unconstitutional’ citizenship law. Video evidence and witness accounts pointed to police allowing Hindu mobs to roam the streets freely to target the Muslim community.

International human rights watchdogs including Amnesty International and civil society groups, teachers associations, student organizations, and filmmakers across India had issued different statements calling for the release of Safoora Zargar and anti-CAA activists who were ‘targetted by Hindu nationalist government for protesting anti-Muslim laws’ and ‘arrested under false accusations by Delhi Police.’