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State Targeting On Muslims Is Not A New Thing: AMU Students Condemn Witch Hunt of Anti-CAA Protesters

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Students leaders of Aligarh Muslim University held an online Press Conference to condemn the incrimination of anti-CAA, NRC-NPR student activists under false charges and the endless witch-hunt of students by the Police.

Mohammad Salman Imtiaz (President, AMU Students’ Union 2018-19), Dr. Hamza Malik (President, Residential Doctors Academy, JNMCH, AMU), Mohammad Ghayasuddin (Member, AMU Court), Ferdous Ahmed Barbhuiya (Cabinet Member, AMU Students’ Union 2018-19), Fakhra Khan (Cabinet Member, AMU Students’ Union 2018-19) and the other student leaders of AMU including Abdul Wadood, Wardah Beg, Tahir Azmi, Mohammad Fazal and Ansab Amir addressed the conference on Zoom.

The following is the press statement from the AMU students leaders.

When the whole world is fighting united against a global pandemic, the deluge of arrests of anti-CAA student activists by state police refuses to cease. After Amir Mintoee, the U.P. Police has arrested one more student of Aligarh Muslim University, Farhan Zuberi. On 28th May 2020, Farhan Zuberi, a final-year Master student in Social Work, was arrested for being vocal in the anti-CAA protests observed in the AMU  in December last year.  A FIR was filed against Zuberi with as many as 11 charges pressed against him. The charges include IPC section 307 (attempt to murder) and 124 A (sedition), among others. The Aligarh Police said the ‘attempt to murder charge’ has been put on him because the stone-pelting suffered by the police was quite heavy.

Ironically, the insensitivity of the U.P. Police is not hidden from anyone. We must not forget the night of 15 December 2019 when students of AMU bore the thrust of the violence when U.P. Police barged into the university and hostels and brutalized the students. Many students suffered unrecoverable injuries let alone the mental trauma of each and every single student had on that day. 

On April 16th, 2020, Amir Mintoee, an ex-student of AMU and activist was also arrested by police while he was providing food to the patients stuck at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital in Aligarh. He was also a part of the anti-CAA protests and was arrested for being critical to the government’s anti-Muslim activities.

However, targeting by the state is not a new thing, there is a history on how Muslims have been targeted and at this time when Muslims were becoming vocal, the Muslim youths who are in the universities were leading the anti-CAA movement and a new political background was being prepared, then the government made every effort to suppress it. There were sponsored attacks and recently during lockdown, the government is using it as an opportunity and arresting Muslim activists and students and slamming false accusations.

These arrests without any solid evidence and filling FIRs with the draconian UAPA and sedition laws show nothing but the agenda of the state police and the government to create a fake narrative and intimidate student activists, particularly the ones who were vocal against CAA. 

We, the Students of AMU, strongly condemn the arrest and witch-hunting of the anti-CAA activists. The government is exploiting the national lockdown due to COVID-19 and arresting the anti-CAA protestors.

We demand the immediate release of all the students and activists. The use of the draconian law like UAPA to discourage students and activists of a peaceful democratic protest is awful and highly culpable.

We want to make it clear that these efforts and arrests made by the government will not frighten us. We have faith in our cause and we ensure that our fight for justice will go on.

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