Despite the MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, reiterating to the United Nations’ Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) that CAA is an internal affair of India and that no foreign party has any locus standi on issues related to India’s sovereignty, the UN body has yet again intervened, raising objections at the judicial action initiated against the anti-CAA protestors and rioters by the central government.
Calling the anti-CAA hoodlums, who were instrumental in instigating the mob to unleash a spree of violence across the whole country, “human rights defenders”, the OHCHR urges India to release them immediately.
“These defenders, many of them students, appear to have been arrested simply because they exercised their right to denounce and protest against the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), and their arrest seems clearly designed to send a chilling message to India’s vibrant civil society that criticism of government policies will not be tolerated,” the UN body experts said.
“Authorities should immediately release all human rights defenders who are currently being held in pre-trial detention without sufficient evidence, often simply on the basis of speeches they made criticising the discriminatory nature of the CAA,” they said.
OHCHR lists names of 11 anti-CAA protestors whom it wants India to release
Calling the arrest of Safoora Zargar “one of the most alarming cases”, the United Nation’ OHCHR mentioned the name of 11 such anti-CAA hoodlums, whom it wanted India to release. The names being, Meeran Haider, Gulfisha Fatima, Safoora Zargar, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal, Khalid Saifi, Shifa Ur Rehman, Dr Kafeel Khan, Sharjeel Imam, Akhil Gogoi.
It is pertinent to note here, that all the names which found a mention by the UN’s OHCHR were arrested in connection with the violent demonstrations that rocked several parts of the country, especially the national capital and eventually culminated into full-blown communal riots in the northeast Delhi.
While the United Nations’ OHCHR, which tries to vilify the government for allowing the incarceration of a pregnant woman, chooses to turn a blind eye towards her culpability, it becomes imperative to note that the Jamia student, Safoora Zargar, who was recently granted bail on humanitarian grounds, was accused of inciting mob on Jafrabad Metro Station in Delhi that led to Delhi riots in February 2020. She had been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Her previous bail pleas were rejected by the Delhi Hingh Court noting that the “gravity of offence” against arrested Jamia coordination committee media coordinator Safoora Zargar was serious.
Her arrest has led to a barrage of propaganda accusing the Delhi Police of ‘anti-Muslim’ bias. The Delhi Police had recently slammed far-left propagandists at The Wire for making such dubious allegations.
On April 2, the Delhi police arrested a student leader of the Jamia Millia University for instigating violence during the anti-Hindu Delhi riots.
According to the reports, Meeran Haider, a 35-year-old a PhD student from Jamia Millia Islamia University, was arrested in connection with rioting and criminal conspiracy pertaining to anti-Hindu riots in north-east Delhi that have claimed the lives of 53 people and left over 400 injured.
Meeran Haider is also the president of the Rashtriya Janata Dal youth wing’s Delhi unit. Meeran Haider is also a member of Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC).
Reports said that Haider and his few associates had mobilised around 60 people to instigate riots in the national capital. He was also allegedly present in the Chand Bagh area during the riots. The accused had also run Whatsapp groups to incite riots in Delhi.
Gulfisha Fatima is one of the Pinjra Tod protesters who was arrested for her patently anti-national and seditious activities which led to the communal violence during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in northeast Delhi in February. A Delhi court had last month granted bail to Gulfisha Fatima.
Asif Iqbal Tanha
Arrested on May 17 in the Delhi riots case, the Special Cell of Delhi Police has booked the Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for purportedly being a part of a larger conspiracy behind the February riots in northeast Delhi.
The development comes days after the Delhi Police’s crime branch arrested the SIO member and Jamia student in connection with the violence that erupted in the national capital during the anti-CAA protests in December last year. He is a resident of Shaheen Bagh.
The police argued in the court that Tanha’s custody was required to uncover the larger conspiracy and to confront him with the electronic data collected during the investigation.
Tanha, a member of the Students Islamic Organisation and a part of Jamia Coordination Committee which led the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
On June 6, the Delhi police investigating the north-east Delhi riots case, booked the second Pinjra Tod activist, Devangana Kalita, under stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). She was arrested on May 23 on the allegations of inciting violence.
The JNU student and far-left group Pinjra Tod activist has been booked under the anti-terror charges for allegedly conspiring to incite riots in the parts of Delhi and involving in Unlawful activities.
She was arrested on May 23 by the special cell of Delhi police. The court permitted police to interrogate her and if required arrest her formally on June 3. Devangana has been booked under several sections related to sedition, an attempt to murder, murder, criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, etc as per a lawyer. This was the fourth case for which Devangana was booked for within a few weeks. The two other cases relate to North-east Delhi riots while one of them is related to the violence that burst out in early December last year.
Before Devangana Kalita, the Delhi Police booked ultra-left activist Natasha Narwal of the controversial group ‘Pinjra Tod’ under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for her role in inciting the anti-Hindu communal riots in Northeast Delhi in February. She was the 7th person to be booked under UAPA in the case.
On June 9, the Crime Branch of Delhi Police had arrested Khalid Saifi, allegedly one of the key conspirators of the violence that took place in the Chand Bagh area during the Delhi anti-Hindu riots in February this year.
Saifi is named as an accused in the third charge-sheet filed by Delhi Police in connection with the Delhi violence case. He is also said to have attended the January 8 meeting at Shaheen Bagh, where Muslims were holding an anti-CAA protest for almost a month.
Moreover, Khalid Saifi is known to be the person who had facilitated the meeting between JNU’s ‘Tukde Tukde’ gang activist Umar Khalid and IB officer Ankit Sharma’s murder accused, the AAP suspended councillor, Tahir Hussain.
As per the Times Now report, Saifi has been named as one of the ‘facilitators’ of the riots. The charge sheet also reportedly mentions that Saifi ran the ‘Shaheen Bagh control room’ to incite, organise and facilitate the Delhi anti-Hindu riots.
Soon after Saifi’s was arrested, pictures of him smiling and posing with Delhi CM Arvind, Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, journalists Ravish Kumar, Rajdeep Sardesai, Arfa Khanum, Abhisar Sharma and RJ Syema had emerged.
Shifa Ur Rehman
In April, Special Cell of the Delhi Police has arrested one Shifa-Ur-Rehman, the president of the Jamia Alumni Association (JMA), for involvement in the Delhi Anti-Hindu riots under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Delhi Police have stated that Shifa was caught on CCTV footage in riot-hit areas of North East Delhi. Technical evidence such as call records and Whatsapp messages have suggested his role in inciting mobs during the Delhi Anti-Hindu riots. Delhi police, while deamding his custody, said that witnesses had revealed that Shifa Ur Rehman received funds from alumni association of JMI based in Middle Eastern countries and he was coordinating at the protest sites.
Dr Kafeel Khan
The Uttar Pradesh police have slapped the National Security Act (NSA) against that controversial Gorakhpur ‘doctor’ Kafeel Khan for making provocative comments during his speech on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on December 12, 2019.
Controversial ‘doctor’ Kafeel Khan arrested in Mumbai on January 30 for making a provocative speech in the Aligarh Muslim University campus on December 12th, 2019, inciting people against the CAA.
An FIR was filed against Kafeel for attempting to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere and disturb communal harmony. The FIR was registered under section 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion) of IPC on the 13th of December.
It is pertinent to note here that Kafeel Khan is one of the accused in the BRD Medical College and Hospital children’s death case in Gorakhpur. He had taken to social media to spread false news that he had been given a ‘clean chit’ in the 2017 case in a departmental inquiry. The Uttar Pradesh government had in October initiated a fresh inquiry against him for spreading misinformation in the media and forcibly entering a hospital and trying to treat patients during his suspension period.
The rabid Islamist Sharjeel Imam was arrested by the Police from Bihar’s Jehanabad. Sedition charges were filed against him in multiple states for his remarks urging Muslims to cut off North East India from the rest of the country by blocking the Chicken’s neck. The arrest was made by the Delhi Police Crime Branch after he was absconding for four days. A manhunt was launched after the video of his seditious speech went viral on social media.
Several states like Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh had filed FIRs against him under charges of sedition and other offences for his secessionist statements.
A series of videos had gone viral on social media in which Sharjeel Imam, the chief co-ordinator of Shaheen Bagh protest and a The Wire columnist was seen instigating Muslims of the country to break India by cutting of North-east from the rest of the country. While speaking to Muslim mobs, he said, “Our aim is to cut Assam and North-east India from rest of India”.
The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti leader Akhil Gogoi while addressing a rally at Panitola in Assam’s Tinsukia district had issued a secessionist statement over the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Gogoi had said that if Assamese sentiments are not respected than the state will have to secede from the Union Of India.
Akil Gogoi was already slapped with a sedition case on January 7, after he organised a rally and issued secessionist remarks at Guwahati on January 7, along with Sahitya Akademi winning litterateur Hiren Gohain and senior journalist Manjit Mahanta. The three were booked under sections of 120 (B), 121, 123 and 124 (A).
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) slammed by India
Meanwhile, this is not the first time the United Nations’ OHCHR has interfered in India internal matter. In March it had filed an intervention application in the Supreme Court of India against the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The contentious move by the UN’s OHCHR implied that it wanted to be made a party in the existing petitions against the CAA. The message was conveyed to India’s Permanent Mission in Geneva, Switzerland.
India had then slammed the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for interfering in its internal affair.