Hundreds signed a petition appealing for the release of Sharjeel Usmani, a Muslim student leader from Aligarh, who was sent to judicial custody after 24 hours of illegal detention by Uttar Pradesh police.
The 23 year-old independent researcher gained support from international rights groups demanding his immediate release.
Human rights body of UK Labour party, LCHR expressed concern about the illegal detention and demanded accountability from police about Sharjeel’s whereabouts.
Alannah Travers, Vice chair of LCHR said the developments are ‘awful’ and extended support.
” About 830 people have signed the petition which was circulated on Thursday demanding Sharjeel’s release. People pour in every minute extending solidarity “, a close friend of Sharjeel told Maktoob.
Usmani, an alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University and the national Secretary of Fraternity Movement, is one of the forefront figure of anti-CAA protest.
Usmani’s advocates present in court have informed that he is being charged in 4 cases and one among them is a case related to the violence that happened in AMU on 15 December.
“The arbitrary manner of his arrest shows the cowardliness of UP police. Sharjeel is a Muslim intellectual and it made him enemy of the Hindu nationalist”, said Ansar Abubakar, president of Fraternity Movement.
Fraternity Movement conducted protest gathering in different cities in Kerala demanding Sharjeel’s immediate release.
“When the National Human Rights Commission conducted an inquiry by the High Court of Allahabad’s order, it was found that no students were indulged in any violence on 15.12.2019”, pointed out CAVACH in their press release. The Europe based rights group claimed that he was arrested without following the due procedure of law.
Indian American Muslim Council, a advocacy group in US condemned the ‘arbitrary and unlawful arrest of Sharjeel Usmani’.
“My son is not jailed for killing or robbery, he was fighting for his community,” responded Sharjeel’s Mother, Seema Usmani.
24 hours of illegal detention
According to family, a group of men claiming to be Crime Branch barged inside the house and detained him on Wednesday evening. 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.
After the abduction, police denied his arrest and whereabouts to family and friends leading to severe distress and panic.
“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.
The family wasn’t informed about shifting him to Azamgarh to Aligarh. Many quires to the police made by Maktoob was stonewalled by the UP police.
Sharjeel was flagged by OpIndia, a right-wing propaganda web portal for his dissenting views and solidarity social media post for Sharjeel Imam.
Usmani is an independent researcher and has contributed articles to Firstpost, DailyO, Maktoob, and Newslaundry.
Twocircles.net and Maktoob, news portal associated with Sharjeel Usmani have condemned the arrest and illegal abduction of UP police.