Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Hathras UAPA case: Student leader Masud Ahmed walks out of jail after spending 3.5 years in prison

Student leader Masud Ahmed who was arrested along with Malayali journalist Siddique Kappan and others in the Hathras UAPA-ED case in October 2020, walked out of jail on Wednesday night.

Masud was released after spending 3.5 years in Mathura jail facing draconian charges.

After multiple rejections, the Allahabad High Court first granted Masud bail in the ED case in May 2023. Later, on March 12, he was granted bail in the UAPA case as well.

But the tangled process of his release took almost two months, according to family members.

Another student leader Rauf Shareef, journalist Siddique Kappan, student leader Atiq Rahman and the driver of the vehicle, Muhammad Alam, who were accused in the case, were earlier released on bail in the UAPA and the ED case.

They were arrested on October 5, 2020, in the middle way at Mathura, while travelling to the residence of a Dalit woman who was gang-raped and killed by upper-caste men in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras.

Masud, along with Atiq, was leading a delegation of Campus Front of India (CFI), the student wing of Popular Front of India (PFI), (a pan India Muslim organisation arbitrarily banned recently by the Union government) to extend their solidarity with the victim’s family.

Rauf Shareef, former national secretary of Campus Front, was also arrested in the same case though he was not part of the delegation.

Rauf was released after spending 33 months in jail for merely transferring Rs 5000 to his friend and fellow party member Atiq’s account.

A day after the arrest of Masud and others, they were slapped with the sedition and UAPA charges, as the UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath claimed they were ‘conspiring’ against his government to provoke large-scale violence in the state.

Eventually, one after the other, charges against them got piled up. According to Masud’s lawyer, he was badly tortured during the initial days of imprisonment.

Now 30-year-old Masud Ahmed, had done his MA in Public Administration at Jamia Millia Islamia.


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