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Home / India / Activists stir up a Twitter storm with #UmarKoRihaKaro to mark 300 days of his arrest

Activists stir up a Twitter storm with #UmarKoRihaKaro to mark 300 days of his arrest

He was held on the charge of inciting riots through his protests last year against the new citizenship regime
Umar Khalid.
Umar Khalid.
File picture

Pheroze L. Vincent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 11.07.21, 02:04 AM

Many activists on Saturday tweeted appeals for the release of human rights activist Umar Khalid, marking 300 days of his arrest on the charge of inciting riots through his protests last year against the new citizenship regime.

The Twitter storm with the hashtag #UmarKoRihaKaro comes against the backdrop of Monday’s custody death of Father Stan Swamy, a priest jailed in connection with an alleged Maoist plot, whom activists consider a “prisoner of conscience” like Umar.

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A cultural event was conducted on Facebook in solidarity with jailed activists and in memory of Fr Stan, at which theatre personalities Danish Hussain and Quasar Thakore Padamsee, singer Moushumi Bhowmik and actor Suhaas Ahuja performed. Poet Nabiya Khan recited a new poem titled You are the Revolution on Umar and other “political prisoners”.

Poet Hussain Haidry tweeted: “Whether it is Umar Khalid or Sharjeel Imam or any other young Indian Muslim figure with an original voice, they are being hounded and punished by the State because they have the potential to be the fresh blood of diverse leadership of Muslims in Indian politics.”

Manhattan-based author and lawyer Suchitra Vijayan tweeted: “Minute by minute, hour by hour, they stole 300 days from Umar. Every time we remember Umar, every time we speak of their dreams, we reclaim a bit of what is stolen. Let’s reclaim a day. Storm the Twitter with #UmarKoRihaKaro.”

Congress social media convener Hasiba Amin drew parallels with a youth who shot and injured a Jamia Millia Islamia student last year, and recently delivered an incendiary speech in Pataudi, Haryana, while out on bail.

She tweeted: “300 days of being behind bars for exercising his constitutional right to dissent against an unconstitutional law, while those like Rambhakt Gopal who shoots a gun & threatens to kill Muslims remain free. What a shame!”

Others contrasted Umar’s speeches, which called for people to respond to hate with love, with BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s threats to anti-CAA protesters.

All India Students’ Association president N. Sai Balaji tweeted: “It has been 300 days since arrest of #UmarKhalid. The UAPA case filed by Delhi Police is fictitious & politically motivated, devoid of any substance as shown by Delhi HC in its bail order of Asif, Devangana & Natasha. #UmarKoRihaKaro #ReleaseAllPoliticalprisoners #RepealUAPA.”

The three activists, charged in the same case as Umar, were recently released on bail with Delhi High Court highlighting flaws in the case.



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