Two Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students, Farhan Zuberi and Ravish Ali Khan were arrested on Thursday, 28 May over the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). While Ravish, who was arrested around 12 pm, has been released by the local police, Farhan has been sent to jail in Aligarh.
The arrests come in the wake of several other students and activists being arrested while India faces the fourth phase of the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Farhan is a final year student of Masters in Social Work, while Ravish is currently doing his Bachelors in the same course.
Farhan, however, has around 10-11 charges against him for taking part in anti-CAA protests in December. An ex-cabinet member of AMU, he along with Ravish were driving near Madrak for some personal work, where the police, who were in civilian clothes stopped their car.
“We were driving fast, the police stopped our car and threw the barricade towards our car in such a way that the side-view mirror fell and hit on my hand. I have got injuries but none very serious,” Ravish told The Quint.
Ravish said he knew that they will send Farhan to jail because he has charges against him. However, he was released after nearly six hours in the station despite having no cases against him.
“I was scared that they will slap some charges against me because I have also been active in protests against CAA, and I have no criminal record against me,” he added.
He said he is sure, however, that these arrests are taking place in relation of CAA, and NRC.
Charges of Attempt to Murder, Sedition Against Farhan
An active face in the anti-CAA protest, Farhan was also a part of the coordination committee of the university. Some of the IPC sections of the charges against him are:
- 188 — Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.
- 147 — Punishment for rioting
- 307 — Attempt to murder.
- 353 — Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty.
- 504 — Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace
- 506 — Punishment for criminal intimidation.
- 336 — Act endangering life or personal safety of others
- 124A — Sedition.
- 153A — Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence.
Confirming his arrest, SHO Madrak police station told The Quint, “Out of all the charges against him, Farhan has been sent to jail over seven of the charges.”
‘Police Threatened Us Before As Well’
Ravish said that his father also works in the Aligarh police, hence the local police recognise him. “Farhan and I, both were given warning and threats by the police several times for participating in anti-CAA protests,” Ravish stated.
The police, he claimed, have given a “last warning.” Ravish claimed that the police told him, “We are letting you go now, but check your behaviour otherwise next time we won’t let you go.”
“The University administration is looking into the matter. If the arrest had happened within the premises of the university, we would have followed our protocols, but because it took place outside, we will be meeting up and deciding what to do next,” Omar Peerzada, AMU PRO told The Quint.
Earlier in the day, some students had also gathered at the VC lodge, maintaining social distance, and demanded their release.
The police has been criticised for using the pandemic and lockdown as an opportunity to curb voices of dissent against CAA and NRC as the national attention continues to be on coronavirus related reports. The police has recently arrested a lot of activists and students who took part in anti-CAA protests months ago.