Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Student leader in UP jail in threat of custodial murder, alleges family

Raising serious concerns about the health of student leader Atiq Ur Rahman in UP prison, family alleged that the negligence from the side of court and cops could be fatal to his life.

Rahman’s family expressed their alarm in the press meet gathered at Press Club of India on Friday.

Rahman who is the national leader of Campus Front of India has been admitted to the jail hospital for the past four days.

He was arrested in October 2020 along with three others- journalist Siddique Kappan, Campus Front of India (CFI) office-bearer Masood Ahmad and the cab driver Mohammad Alam while they were on their way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh to report on the rape and killing of a Dalit woman by upper-caste Hindu men which had triggered nationwide outrage and to visit the family members of deceased.

They were booked under various sections of the IPC, but these charges were dropped by a Mathura court on grounds that the police failed to complete the inquiry against them within the prescribed period. However, all of them remain in jail due to charges under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

“The prison authorities are calling his ailment as ‘seasonal fever’ neglecting his heart disease. The arrest was made just before one month in which his heart surgery was scheduled. Then onwards he wasn’t provided any medical assistance. We have been saving Rs 2 lakh for the past two years for the surgery. This negligence could be fatal to his life,” said Atikur’s spouse Sanjida Rahman.

Atiq suffers from Aortic regurgitation- a cardiac problem that develops when the aortic valve in the heart does not shut securely enough. Heart failure is the most dangerous consequence that might occur as a result of this condition. He has visited hospitals in Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Aligarh, and AIIMS in Delhi, seeking treatment for this condition. 

Joining the press meet, Ashwan Sadiq P, national general secretary of Campus Front of India said that the arrest was made as a purview of political vendetta.

“He was in the forefront of the anti-CAA movement. Rahman’s stern interventions against the police atrocities in his locality also had made him a target of the authoritarian rulers,” said Sadiq.

The Hathras conspiracy case was a counterfeit story cooked up to silence dissent, according to Rahman’s colleague.

“Now shoving him towards the same fate as that of Ft. Stan Swami’s out of political vengeance cannot be watched inertly. The judiciary must duly consider his petition seeking advanced medical care and grant him default bail for his treatment,” Campus Front of India demanded.

According to Rahman’s lawyer Madhuvan Dutt Chathurvedi, guarantee to life and liberty is one of the pious provisions of India’s Constitution.

“No one has the authority to deny the rights of a person even if he is convicted. Atikur Rahman is an undertail prisoner. We have approached the court four times citing his medical condition, all of them were heard without due gravity and hence were turned down,” lawyer told reporters.

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