AMU alumni Sharjeel Usmani arrested for allegedly clashing with cops during anti-CAA protests
On Thursday, July 9, the Uttar Pradesh police arrested Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) student Sharjeel Usmani and sent him to 14-days of judicial custody, The Quint reported. Usmani was arrested from his home in Azamgarh allegedly over FIRs against him for the violence that erupted at the AMU campus on December 15, 2019. The charges against him reportedly included attempt to murder, rioting, carrying deadly weapons and causing hurt to public servants, etc.
While Scroll.in reported that the Azamgarh Police had not made a formal statement about the arrest, Amar Ujala had said that Usmani was arrested by the personnel of the Lucknow Special Task Force and was allegedly wanted in the case with six other alumni of the AMU – Ahmed Muztaba Faraj, Shamim Bari, Salman Imtiaz, Amir Ul Jais, Naeem Ali, and Zaid Sherwani. It was also reported that Additional SP Arvind Kumar told Amar Ujala that the arrest was made by the anti-terrorism squad of the Lucknow Police and it was related to a case filed in Aligarh in December.
Tariq Usmani, Sharjeel’s father, had told The Quint that five or six people dressed in civil clothes picked Sharjeel up from his maternal uncle’s house in Azamgarh and confiscated his books, laptop and a set of clothes. He added that the family members were also made to stand and were photographed, stating their relation to Sharjeel.
A fact-finding report based on testimonies of students, teachers and others present on the AMU campus on December 15 alleged violence and police action, stating that the police had used stun grenades and raised slogans like Jai Shri Ram while attacking students. The report said that the incident was a shocking display of police brutality and was also vindictive. The police had allegedly hurled communal insults and abuses at the students even before the police unleashed their brutality on them.
Now, writing for Countercurrents.org, Abhay Kumar a PhD (Modern History) from Jawaharlal Nehru University, has said that Sharjeel Usmani, a student leader, has been victimized because of his Muslim identity. He adds that human rights activists argue that the police crackdown on peaceful protestors against the (CAA) within the campus was the real source of violence. The students of AMU — like the students of Jamia Millia Islamia – were not the instigators of the violence but the victims of the violence.
In the recent months, the police has arrested many student activists, mainly from JNU and Jamia Millia Islamia – Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal, Khalid Saifi, Gulfisha Khatoon and Shifa-ur-Rahman among others on stringent charges for their role during the anti-CAA protests and northeast Delhi violence.
This, Kumar says, is an attempt to nip in the bud the emerging leadership among the Muslim community and that by repeated use of brute force, the larger Hindutva design is to keep the largest minority of the country terrorized. He adds that by keeping Muslims terrorized, the Hindutva forces try to turn them silent about the everyday violation of their rights.
Kumar adds that such attempts go to show that the communal ruling classes have never and still don’t accept Muslims as equal citizens or equal partners in the development of the country. He says that Muslims are just seen as a source of cheap labour and being made the targeted victims of state violence while the Hindutva forces grab state power and render Muslims as second-class citizens of the country.
Kumar alleges that the source of the hatred that Hindutva forces show against Muslims is a sense of ‘superiority’ and that this communal mindset has been responsible for the violence that anti-CAA protestors, especially Muslims, have to face. He also added that the cruel Hindutva system victimized Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Sudha Bharadwaj, Akhil Gogoi, Soni Sori (now on bail) and many others. In light of this he has appealed that Muslims, non-Muslims, believers and non-believers, whoever dreams of establishing a ‘system’ must come together in a united struggle to save the country from becoming a fiefdom of a particular group. Kumar said that the Hindutva forces have betrayed the National Movement in which everyone from Sir Syed to Mahatma Gandhi to Maulana Azad to Babasaheb Ambedkar echoed that Hindus and Muslims are the two eyes of the country and that social and economic democracy are the tissues and fibers of a political democracy.
Kumar says that it is within their game plan of anti-Muslim politics that Hindutva politics that Muslims youth leaders are being targeted and calls upon people to fight for the unconditional release of such political prisoners. He says that the solidarity with Usmani should grow into a united fight against the enemy of the shared culture, communal harmony, equality and democracy.
Courtesy : Sabrang