‘Delhi Police not after rioters; people who criticise government being implicated’
Former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Umar Khalid recorded a video statement before his arrest on Sunday wherein he urged people to continue to raise their voice against injustice.
In the 2 minute 18 second clip, Mr. Khalid — who has been arrested in connection with a north-east Delhi riots case lodged against him under sections of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act — starts off by saying that if people are watching the video, it means he has been arrested.
Pointing finger at the way investigations are being conducted into the riots, Mr. Khalid said the police are not after rioters or those who incited violence. “They are not after those who incited violence in front of the police and TV cameras… we all saw. Let alone any FIR against them, the police have not even brought them in for questioning,” he said.
On the other hand, those who criticise the government and were protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens are being falsely implicated even though the police have no evidence against them, he added.
Trying to arrest
“They had been trying to arrest me for the last few months and attributing false statements to me,” said the activist
Talking about the video that has been cited by the police as evidence of Mr. Khalid inciting violence, the former student said that just a few seconds of his 17-minute speech — given in Amravati on February 17 — has been extracted and shared online.
“I did not even mention the words: riots and violence. In fact, I was talking about satyagraha and ahimsa. Now, they are using false narrative against me in the media and forcing people to give false testimonies against me. They are trying to put everyone who criticises the government behind bars,” he said.
“What is my crime? Is it my mistake that I say that this country is as much mine as it is yours?” he asks in the clip.
Talking about the diverse cultures in India, Mr. Khalid said there are believers of many religions in the country and they are all equal in the eyes of the law. “Today, they are trying to change this and trying to divide us. They re trying to silence everyone who speaks against it by putting them behind bars,” he said.
Scare and silence
Mr. Khalid added that “they are not only trying to scare and silence the ones they are arresting”, but also everyone else who “wishes to speak against them”.
“Nainsaafi ke khilaaf awaaz buland kijiye… jin logon ko jhoote mukadmon main phasaya jaa raha hai, unki rihai ki maang kijiye… har zulm ke khilaaf boliye… (Speak louder against injustice… demand release of those who have been falsely implicated and jailed… speak out against every cruelty),” he concluded.
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