Majid Kapra

CPI (M) protests naming of Yachury in Delhi riot’s case, ban on 4G Internet in J&K

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Srinagar: The activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) hit streets here Monday to press for the revocation of FIR against party general secretary, Sitaram Yachury in Delhi riots case and restoration of high speed mobile Internet in Jammu and Kashmir.

The protesting leftists holding placards in their hands which read “withdraw false FIR against Yachuri, restore 4G Internet in J&K” this afternoon staged the ‘dharna’ (sit-in) at Press Colony here as part of the Left party’s nationwide protest against “obnoxious action” of Delhi Police, and demanded revocation of FIR against Yachury and restoration of high speed mobile Internet in J&K.

A party spokesperson said the demonstration was against the charge-sheet filed against Yechury and other leaders as well as the ongoing restrictions on 4G mobile Internet in the union territory.

The demonstrators raised slogans against the “anti-people and repressive policies” of the BJP-led government at the Centre, the spokesperson said.

Other than Yechury, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, economist Jayati Ghosh and Delhi University professor Apoorvanand figure in the supplementary charge-sheet.

However, Delhi Police has clarified that it has not filed a charge-sheet against them and underscored the difference between naming someone as an accused and mentioning a name due to allegations.

“Naming secular leaders like Sitaram Yachury in riots case is unfortunate and we strongly condemn it and demand that his name be withdrawn from the charge-sheet,” they said.

Pertinently, Yechury’s name figures in the supplementary chargesheet of the Delhi Police, which cites a statement from one of the students who alleged that the leader had given speeches to mobilise protestors.

The protesters condemned the “false charges” against the prominent political leaders, academicians, cultural personalities and activists and demanded their names be withdrawn from the charge-sheet immediately, the spokesperson said.

The CPI (M) activists also said it was unfortunate that people of Jammu and Kashmir were being deprived of 4G mobile Internet services and demanded that the ban be lifted immediately.

The spokesperson said the party also demanded unconditional release of all political prisoners “who are incarcerating in cases under trumped-up charges since August 05 last year”.

“The administration must desist from harassing the youth unnecessarily and stop indiscriminate arrests,” he said.

He said similar protests were held outside the Divisional Commissioners’ office in Jammu, Anantnag, Kulgam and other parts of J&K.

The CPI (M) workers also criticized the administration for allegedly failing to tackle the issue of growing unemployment in the newly carved out Union Territory.

Meanwhile, the CPI(M) today condemned the arrest of former JNU student Umar Khalid and alleged that the arrests, under the stringent UAPA, of students in the Delhi riots case were an assault on the “constitutional guarantees of the democratic right to dissent”.

Khalid, a former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student, has been arrested by the Delhi Police’s special cell for his alleged role in the riots that broke out in the north-east neighbourhoods of the national capital in February this year.

“The arrest of Umar Khalid under the provisions of the draconian UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) is condemnable… Top BJP leaders who made hate speeches and incited violence are protected by the Central Government, while young peaceful protesters against the CAA are being targeted and arrested citing the utterly manufactured version of the country’s Home Ministry and the Delhi Police linking anti-CAA protests with communal violence,” a statement from the Left party in New Delhi said.

“The Central government must stop the practice of the Special Branch summoning anti-CAA activists for questioning and trying to coerce them into implicating those targeted by the Home Ministry and the police,” it said.

It also alleged that the UAPA is being used to block the normal processes of justice by which the accused would have been out on bail since, as many of the lower courts have mentioned, there is not “a shred of evidence” against any of them for inciting violence.

The statement said Khalid’s arrest comes following the detention, under the UAPA, of Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, both JNU students; Ishrat Jahan, a former Councillor of the Congress Party; Jamia students Meeran Haider who is also an RJD youth leader, Asif Tanha, Safoora Zagar, Gulfisha Fatima and Shifr-ul-Rehman.

“The arrests constitute an assault on the constitutional guarantees of the democratic right to dissent,” the statement said.

The party further said it has opposed the CAA-NRC-NPR from the beginning both in Parliament and outside in multiple protests throughout the country.

“It reiterates its strong opposition. It expresses its solidarity with all those facing the repression of the Central Government. It demands the release of all those arrested under UAPA in the Delhi communal violence case.

“Recent developments point to the urgent necessity of an independent investigation, under a retired judge, into the causes of the violence as against the biased investigation being conducted by the Delhi police under Union Home Ministry’s guidance,” the party alleged.

In the same supplementary chargesheet, Khalid has been named in another statement where he allegedly gave “tips” on how to organise protests.

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