Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Govt using lockdown to hunt Muslims, say Aligarh student leaders

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Student Union leaders and student activists at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) condemned the arrests of anti-CAA activists and students and slamming of draconian UAPA and sedition charges in a joint press conference, attended online.

Student leaders have demanded the immediate release of all the students and activists and said that the use of the draconian law like UAPA to suppress students and activists of a peaceful democratic protest is awful and highly culpable.

“When the whole world is fighting unitedly with a global pandemic, the deluge of arrests of Anti-CAA student activists by state police refuses to cease. After Amir Mintoee, the U.P. Police has arrested one more student of Aligarh Muslim University, Farhan Zuberi,” student leaders said.

On Thursday, Farhan Zuberi, a final-year Master’s student in Social Work at AMU, was arrested for being vocal in the anti-CAA protests observed in the varsity last December.

An FIR was filed against Zuberi with as many as 11 charges pressed against him. The charges include IPC section 307 (attempt to murder) and 124 A (sedition), among others. The Aligarh Police said the ‘attempt to murder charge’ has been put on him because the stone-pelting suffered by the police was quite heavy.

“Ironically, the insensitivity of the U.P. Police is not hidden from anyone. We must not forget the night of 15 December 2019 when students of AMU bore the thrust of the violence when U.P. Police barged into the university and hostels and brutalized the students. Many students suffered unrecoverable injuries let alone the mental trauma of each and every single student had on that day,” student leaders who were also very active in anti-CAA protests said.

AMU Students Union President Salman Imtiyaz recalled the atrocities by security forces upon the students of AMU and Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) on 15 December as the “state-sponsored terrorism.”

He targeted the government saying, “they attempt to abolish political opposition and create a unipolar political discourse”.

On 16 April, Amir Mintoee, an ex-student of AMU and activist was also arrested by police while he was providing food to the patients stuck at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital in Aligarh.

“Mintoee was also a part of the anti-CAA protests and was arrested for being critical to the government’s anti-Muslim activities,” Aligarh students said in the online press conference.

M. Gayasuddin an AMUSU court member, accused the government of stifling the agitation by students with the use of force. He further said, ” the government is barely concerned about its people and the progress of the country, rather more about the ways to continue being in power”.

Tahit Azmi, a student leader said ” The witch-hunting of the students started from Sharjeel Imam and seems to have no bounds”.

Students said that the government made every effort to suppress Muslim activists when they were becoming vocal against discriminatory laws.

“There were sponsored attacks and recently during the lockdown, the government is using it as an opportunity and arresting Muslim activists and students and slamming false accusations,” they accused.

Ansab Amir Khan, another student, said that the students of the Muslim Institutions and the Muslim community became a strong voice against the discriminatory nature of the power at the center, citing it a reason for the students being targeted and arrested.

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