Published: 28th June 2022
Ex-Jamia student charge-sheeted in anti-CAA case, even as AISA organises protest against arrest of Zubair, Setalvad
The student, who was among those allegedly attacked by police at the JMI campus, was called for extensive questioning under the UAPA in 2020
An ex-student of Jamia Millia Islamia has been charge-sheeted in two cases registered against him during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest in 2020. Now a student at JNU, Chandan Kumar was an MA Hindi student in Jamia Millia Islamia in 2020 at the peak of the anti-CAA protest. He was also the Secretary of the All India Students' Association (AISA). He was allegedly one of the students assaulted by the police inside Jamia. He was reportedly attacked outside a library on campus and required six stitches to his head.
At the time, two FIRS were filed against him. He was also called for hours of strenuous questioning by the Delhi Police Special Cell as per a notice issued to him under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in May 2020. This year, last month, he was charge-sheeted in one of the cases and members of AISA arranged money for his bail, says Balaji. However, yesterday, in a supplementary charge sheet of the second FIR, a non-bailable warrant was filed against Chandan.
While discourse on the arrest of journalist Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News by the Delhi Police rages on social media, and echoes in protests across the country, the National President of AISA, N Sai Balaji says the responsibility of students at this point is to join the dots and expose the pattern of the prosecution of activists being followed by the government. "This is an emergency that we are living in. And it is no longer 'undeclared'. As students, we need to throw light on the systematic dismantling of the democratic traditions of the country. It happened with Umar Khalid and the many others who were arrested during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest two years ago, and are still languishing in jails. It is a reflection of the action that leaders such as Amit Shah have been hinting at for some time now," he adds.
Student organisations have joined the uproar against the arrest of Mohammed Zubair and the arrest of activist Teesta Setalvad and others in connection with the Gujarat riots of 2002. The All India Students' Association (AISA) has called for a protest at the Sabarmati Dhaba at the Jawaharlal Nehru University at 6 pm today, June 28.
"What is happening with Zubair and Teesta Setalvad, who was arrested earlier this week, is part of a larger design to dismantle anyone fighting for democracy and truth. Teesta was one of the first people to fight for justice for the victims of the Gujarat riots of 2002. Zubair, in his capacity as a journalist, has been identifying hate-mongers and not only fact-checking divisive claims, but also helping prosecute people turning society into a dangerous minefield of hate," says Balaji.
He reiterates that prosecution of protestors by the establishment has extended to students as well. "The legal process will go on. Both in the case of people like Zubair and Teesta, as well as for Chandan. We cannot comment on that. We can, however, comment on the silence of the courts. Their indecisiveness and their lack of spine to take on the executive. The judiciary should show that they stand with the Constitution. However, they are proving that they cannot be the messiah of democracy anymore," Balaji states.