No sooner did the government announced a phased removal of coronavirus induced curbs, the anti-CAA lobby has come out of the woodwork, preparing to organise a nationwide campaign to protest against the judicial action initiated against the anti-CAA rioters and mobsters by the central government.
Swinging into action, the lobby has called for a mass protest movement even as the country gears itself up for revival after staggering under the economic shadow of coronavirus lockdown. The protest termed as ‘Sab Yaad Rakha Jaega’ has been called by the anti-CAA demonstrators on June 3 on the pretext of opposing the “repression on anti-CAA activists and democratic voices of dissent”.
The anti-CAA lobby has made a clarion call to the organisations that have pledged their support to the cause to organise protests in their respective campuses or areas on June 3 at 12 PM while maintaining norms of social distancing.
The release of all anti-CAA activists, Immediate attention to the plight of migrant workers and toiling masses instead of repression of democratic voices of dissent, arrests of the real culprits of the Delhi riots, the release of political prisoners, and repealing of CAA-NPR-NRC, as well as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act(UAPA), are the slated demand posed by the group.
The call for protest has come at a time when the anti-CAA protests have lost steam, partly because of the onset of the coronavirus outbreak and largely because the government has been strict against the transgressors who had indulged in riotous, anti-India and seditious activities under the pretext of participating in “peaceful protests”. The lobby is seeking the release of offenders such as Sharjeel Imam, who had urged the Muslims in the country to break away Assam from the rest of the country and Natasha Narwal, the Pinjra Tod activist, who allegedly incited communal violence during the anti-Hindu riots in North-east Delhi in February.
Sinister Agenda behind the call for nationwide protests
Of the above demands, the scrapping of UAPA seems to be the front burner for the organisations who are staging the protest against the government. Over the last few months, several anti-CAA rioters and protesters such as Safoora Zargar, Ishrat Jahan, Khalid Saifi, Gulfisha Fatima, Sharjeel Imam, Shifa Ur-Rahman and many others have been booked by the Delhi Police under various sections, including UAPA, for their patently anti-national and seditious activities. Recently, Pinjra Tod activist Natasha narwal was arrested and slapped with the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for her role in inciting the anti-Hindu communal riots in Northeast Delhi in February. Through the protests, the anti-CAA lobby seems to pressurise the government to submit to their demands at a time when they are already overwhelmed with the coronavirus crisis.
Several organisations across the country have been signatories to the protests that are scheduled to happen on June 3. One of the organisations notorious for hosting anti-India activities, All India Students’ Association(AISA) of the Jamia Millia Islamia University has demanded the withdrawal of show-cause notices against the Jamia students. It has accused the Jamia administration of keeping a tab on the social media activities of the students and harassing students by issuing “arbitrary show-cause notices” against them for their social media posts and stifling their freedom of expression.
With this call for nationwide demonstrations, the anti-CAA lobby once again seeks to reignite the protests that had gained momentum before being dampened by the onslaught of the coronavirus in the country. In a bid to legitimise their demand for protests, the lobby has alleged that the government has been using repression and draconian laws to silent the dissidents. It has demanded the release of arrested anti-CAA protesters, including Akhil Gogoi, who has been charged under UAPA, Bittu Sonowal, Manas Konwar, Dhairjya Konwar and several others who have been arrested in the course of the movement and are lodged in jail.
Essentially, the demand for a nationwide protest, at the risk of unleashing another wave of coronavirus infection, is aimed at shielding the stone-pelters, rioters, vandals, arsonists and violence instigators who used the cover of ‘peaceful protest against the CAA’ to propagate their hatred against the current dispensation and were later booked for indulging in subversive and seditious activities. The lobby wants all those who hurled stones at the law enforcement officials, set buses on fire, vandalised public property, squatted on national capital’s busiest thoroughfare, made inflammatory and seditious speeches, who are now being brought to book, should not be subjected to a judicial scrutiny.