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Cry against Delhi arrests

Police have been arresting anti-CAA activists during lockdown, linking their protests to the February communal riots
Students participate in a demonstration Delhi Chalo against CAA , NRC and NPR at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 01.06.20, 11:27 PM

Leaders of several Opposition parties on Monday condemned the arrests, during the lockdown, of people who had protested against the new citizenship matrix.

“There’s a need for a united political movement to oppose this government,” CPI general secretary D. Raja said during an online news conference. “The home minister, whom the Delhi police report to, must be held accountable for all that the Delhi police are doing.”

Several activists, mainly students, have been arrested during the lockdown and charged under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The police have linked their protests to the February communal riots in Delhi that claimed 53 lives.

“Today every street in the US is seeing an agitation against the killing of one man by a policeman,” Congress MP Syed Naseer Hussain said. “In India, we are in a situation where we see people being lynched or tortured or killed every day, for the simple reason that they belong to one particular religion. Every person with democratic values must rise against these arrests.”

Senior lawyer and NCP leader Majeed Memon questioned the police’s intent in not filing FIRs against BJP politicians who had made hate speeches in the run-up to the Delhi riots. “Delay in lodging FIRs puts a serious burden on the prosecution, and as a lawyer I have got offences disproved (because of) the fact that the FIR was not filed in time…,” he said.

RJD MP Manoj Jha urged fellow politicians to act immediately to give hope to those being prosecuted. “We need to send a message to all the activists that your fight is a constitutional fight. … we won’t allow your lives to be wasted.”

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