Congress leaders condemns girls’ arrest
Congress leaders on Monday condemned the arrest of an Assam girl by Delhi police in connection with the anti-CAA protest at Jafrabad in February.
Jawaharlal Nehru University students Devangana Kalita of Assam and Natasha Narwal were arrested from their home on Saturday. Devangana is doing MPhil at the Centre for Women Studies and Natasha her PhD at the Centre for Historical Studies.
Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi wrote a letter to Union home minister Amit Shah on Monday, requesting immediate release of the girls.
He said the students, belonging to a prestigious educational institute of the country, had not committed any offence, that they had participated in a peaceful agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and had not engaged in or incited any violence.
He said the Constitution gives everybody the right of expression and they had merely exercised their fundamental right. “You know yourself that agitations are going on all over the country against CAA, which violates the Constitution and the Assam Accord …this is nothing but political vendetta and an attempt to suppress fundamental right,” he said.
Both Devangana and Natasha are founding members of Pinjra Toda, a group of women activists in Delhi.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Debabrata Saikia said, “I condemn the arrest of the girls and request Delhi police to release them immediately. They did not engage in any violence. They staged a sit-in against the anti-CAA movement, yet the police arrested them. The BJP government is trying to destabilise the anti-CAA students’ movement by arresting them.”
He said, “Once chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal was a student leader in Assam and had participated in many students’ movements but now he is mum on the arrest of the Assam girl. I request him to intervene in the matter and take immediate steps to release the girls.”