Even After hours of illegal detention, Uttar Pradesh police remain silent about Sharjeel Usmani, a student activist from Aligarh Muslim University. Picked up by plain-clothed officers on Wednesday evening, no whereabouts of Sharjeel have come out leading to panic among friends and family.
“I refuse to believe it an arrest. They did not tell us what charges were being pressed, they did not allow us to have any conversation with him,” Sharjeel’s father, Tariq Usmani told maktoob.
Sharjeel was picked up by five plainclothed persons from his maternal family house in Sidhari, Azamgarh.
According to Amar Ujala’s report, Aligarh SP confirms Sharjeel was arrested by Lucknow ATS Team. SP office didn’t respond to the call made by Maktoob.
Most of the journalists have recieved denial of his arrest from police. No official notification about the arrest have come out from the police.
Usmani, national secretary of Fraternity Movement has been at the forefront face of the anti-CAA-NRC-NPR protests and vocal critic of the BJP led Hindu nationalist government.
“It’s been 6 hours since Sharjeel bhai was illegally arrested from his uncle’s home in Azamgarh. His family still has no clue of his whereabouts.” Tweeted Wardah beg, a student activist from AMU.
According to family, a group of men claiming to be Crime Branch barged inside the house and detained him. Upon asking why they were here, one member said, ‘You don’t need to know. Sharjeel knows why we’re here’, pointing to Usmani, who was along with them, hand-tied and head down.
“They confiscated his laptop, all his books, and a solitary set of clothes. Each of us was made to stand and be photographed, stating our relation to him”, Usmani’s brother Areeb claimed.
He also stated no female officer, if they indeed were officers, was present, but there were women, such as Usmani’s maternal aunt, who were forced to be photographed.
“As a parent, and more importantly, as citizens, we have the right to know”, said Sharjeel’s mother Seema Usmani.
Sharjeel is the third student from Aligarh Muslim University to be picked up by UP police during the lockdown in a illegal pattern of abduction.
Sharjeel was flagged by OpIndia, a right-wing propoganda web portal for his dissenting views and solidarity social media post for Sharjeel Imam and Sharukh Pathan.
Usmani is an independent researcher and have contributed articles to Firstpost, DailyO, Maktoob and Newslaundry.
Fraternity Movement has released a statement demanding the immediate revocation of all charges against Sharjeel Usmani.
With additional reports from Tazeen Junaid.