Anurag Kashyap, Mahesh Bhatt, Vishal Bhardwaj condemn arrests of students, activists protesting CAA amid coronavirus pandemic
A statement signed by several eminent personalities of the entertainment industry condemned the arrests of students and activists protesting the CAA amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement, many personalities of the entertainment industry have criticised the Delhi Police for arresting students of Jamia Milia Islamia University and activists who had taken part in protests in February the government's controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Calling the move a "witch hunt", the statement further describes it as "utterly inhuman and undemocratic", especially during the time of the coronavirus pandemic that has affected a large chunk of the Indian population. They write that making people travel to police stations and then holding them in custody defeats the purpose of the nationwide lockdown imposed by the government.
Other signatories include Vishal Dadlani, Sushant Singh, Mallika Dua, Ratna Pathak Shah, Zeeshan Ayyub, Neeraj Ghaywan, Konkona Sensharma, Abhish Matthew, Saba Singh Azad, and Nandita Das.
The statement was also shared by musician Ankur Tewari on Twitter, who wrote, "Protesting is not a crime."
Here is the statement
Protesting is not a crime. pic.twitter.com/oaGoPto1zb
— Ankur Téwari (@ankurtewari) April 19, 2020
Among those arrested is Sarfoora Zargar, the media coordinator of Jamia Coordination Committee, accused of organising anti-CAA protest in Delhi's north-east district. She was sent to a two-day police custody by a Delhi court.
According to Alok Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police, Zargar, is accused of organising anti-CAA protests in Jaffrabad area where the agitators, majority of whom were women, had begun protests against the amended Act last year.
According to Business Standard, in the first week of April, the Delhi Police had arrested Meeran Haider, a PhD student at Jamia. Press Trust of India writes that on Wednesday at 10 am, Haider was called for interrogation by the Special Cell at their Lodhi Colony office and was subsequently arrested.
Violence had later broken out between the protestors and CAA supporters this year in which at least 53 people including IB official Ankit Sharma and Head Constable Rattan Lal were killed.
(With inputs from agencies)
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