NEW DELHI — A month after a 22-year-old student activist of Aligarh Muslim University, Farhan Zuberi, was detained and charged with sedition by police in Uttar Pradesh; netizens started a Twitter trend, #ReleaseFarhanZuberi. They alleged he is being framed for his activism against Citizenship (amendment) Act (CCA).
Zuberi was nabbed along with one of his colleagues on May 29 in Mandrak near Aligarh while he was on way to pick up another colleague in a car. The police filed a case of sedition, section 124, and attempt to murder, section 307, against him in connection with the protests and violence on university campus on December 15 last year. The police had booked nearly as many as 1,000 students in the case.
The activists say by slapping serious charges on the students and detaining them the police is criminalising the right of the students to protest.
The CAA triggered a wave of peaceful protests in India. Muslim women took to street and began indefinite sit-ins across the length and breadth of the country demanding revocation of the “discriminatory” law which critics say goes against the secular and democratic spirit of the constitution of the country.
The protests were followed by reprisal in the form of large-scale violence in parts of Delhi unleashed by rightwing Hindutva goons allegedly aided and abetted by the police. The anti-Muslim pogrom left more than 50 people dead, majority of them Muslims.
After the violence, the police started arresting anti-CAA activists on trumped-up charges in connection with cases related to the violence in Delhi even though the critics say it was the BJP leaders who were responsible for instigating their supporters to resort to violence.
The police are blamed for launching a witch-hunt against Muslim activists who were at the forefront of the ant-CAA/NRC protests.