Arrested on way to Hathras; Rights group demands release of Jamia student Masud Ahmed

Collective against Violation and Abuse of Civil and Human Rights (CAVACH), a coalition of human rights defenders in India and Europe has condemned the arrest of student leader Masud Ahmed by UP Police under draconian UAPA en route Hathras.

Masud Ahmed and three others including a senior journalist were arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police on Monday in Mathura while on their way to Hathras and have been booked under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and sedition.

“This points to an attempt by authorities and the police to dissolve the Hathras issue by terrorising the youth,” Collective against Violation and Abuse of Civil and Human Rights said in a statement.

“Masud happens to be the fourth Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) student to be booked under the draconian UAPA over the last 6 months. Masud Ahmed is a social worker and has been a student of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) for the past 7 years. He completed his undergraduate studies in Mass Media in 2016. After that, he completed his master’s degree in Public Administration in 2018 from JMI. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Social Exclusion and will complete it this year. He is presently also serving as Delhi State Secretary for Campus Front of India and has been vehemently raising issues over several years regarding student welfare inside and outside of JMI. He was extremely involved in the Muslim reservation movement for JMI and other socio-political activities. Masud also started the School Chalo Abhiyan in backward areas with the Rehab India Foundation, in which hundreds of children were sent to school,” the statement reads.

The statement also noted that Masud works as a freelance journalist and photographer and writes for Beyond The Headlines.

“Masud like many JMI students stood against the CAA-NRC. He believed them to be a fatal blow to India’s Constitution and a grave threat to India’s largest minority,” it added.

Collective against Violation and Abuse of Civil and Human Rights accused the UP government of this politically-motivated incarceration of Masud and said this is another attempt of the BJP to suppress freedom of the press and to divert attention from issues like atrocities on Dalits.

The Collective called upon the whole Jamia Millia Islamia fraternity and all the broader allies to speak up against this preposterous incarceration of Masud as well as all other political prisoners.

“Masud has always stood for the rights and freedoms of all his fellow citizens and now it is time we speak up for him,” it stated.