The controversial citizenship bill passed on 11th of December 2019 in the parliament of India led to the widespread dissatisfaction among various minority groups, especially Muslims. The discontent later resulted into mass protests across the country, while making the central capital still the centre of all the protests. ‘Shaheen Bagh, Chand Bagh, Jamia Milia, and few other areas of National Capital were converted into demonstration sites for dissent and disapproval over the discriminated bill passed by the government. In order the protect the fabric and the very spirit of Indian Constitution, people regardless of religion, region, caste or creed joined hands on a single platform to show disagreement over the amendments brought in the citizenship.
The protests far ahead received international recognition, due to which objections were raised by many countries. Unfortunately, the peaceful protests which even survived the heated Delhi elections finally breathed its last, when President Trump was on a visit to India and disputes instigated between the two communities started taking shape. On February 23rd, 2020 the areas of North-East Delhi was terrorized and dozens of people were killed and thrown into the drains.
Praveen Ranjan (Special Commissioner of Delhi) issued an order on July 8th to the Delhi Police to take due care and precautions while making arrests of ‘some Hindu youth’ from riot-hit areas in North-East Delhi. The order states that the arresting of Hindu youth from riot-hit areas had led to a degree of resentment among the Hindu community. However, it raises no question on the culpability of the arrested “Hindu Youth.”
The representatives were alleging that these arrests were made without any evidence. On the other hand, the same community also reported that police were unable to arrest two Muslims, who were allegedly involved in mobilizing members of the Muslim community during the Delhi riots and anti-CAA protests. Significantly, it was clearly a crime to mobilize Muslims but not a crime when it came to mobilizing Hindus.
The period of lockdown marked the final end of all the protests and the centre dubbed it as an opportunity to summon Muslim youths. Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting of Delhi Police Officers and ordered them to speed up arrests and detention of people allegedly involved in the riot.
Consequently, Safoora Zargar, a scholar of Jamia Milia Islamia doing her M.Phil. with an outstanding academic record, was arrested for mobilizing women to participate in the anti-CAA demonstrations in East Delhi. Even her critical stage of pregnancy was not spared.
It was only when the International voice echoed across the world; she was granted bail through Delhi High Court on June 23 on “Humanitarian grounds.” Though the charge sheet nowhere mentioned that she was involved in any violent activity or instigation.
Other activists too met with the same fate; be it Sharjeel Imam, Amir Minto, Farhan Zuberi, Meeran Haider, Sharjeel Usmani and many others. Contrastingly, the over capable Delhi Police failed to find any evidence to book BJP minister Kapil Mishra, one of the main instigators of violence, or against Kapil Bainsala who shot at Jamia demonstrations in full view of the Police.
Police must understand that they are bound by the law and sections of IPC and Cr.PC and not what the ruling elite might believe in. The arrests were all dictated and fanned in the guise of RSS. The majoritarian agenda worked on its zeal and every demonstrator was titled anti-national and a traitor.
Two JNU students, Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal participated in anti-CAA protest. This step charged them with UAPA. Kalita had mentioned in her tweets that Delhi Police was biased communally. As a result of which, she was awarded with the title of anti-national.
“It has been found that during protests against the CAA, a group of highly qualified ladies including Narwal, in a continuous process, directly or indirectly, instigated common Muslim people to protest against the Government of India stating that CAA is totally against the Muslims and bypassing the law, the Centre may sack Muslims from India….it was revealed that Narwal along with her associates were actively participating to cause riots in Delhi with the sole motive to disturb peace and law and order situation in the national capital” – said the Delhi Police while opposing the bail petition of two JNU students.
If reality is considered a little in the light of logic and truths then it was ironically, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah who toured the entire country delivering the speeches as coherent he could be stating that, “Aap chronology samajhiye; pehle CAB ayega, phir NPR ayega phir NRC, (first we will bring CA bill, then the national population register (NPR) and finally the national register for citizens (NRC).”
It was him who openly said, “In termites ko nikalna chahiye ki nahin; nikalna chahiye ki nahin (shouldn’t we get rid of these termites; shouldn’t we?).”
The protests across the country were the side effect of such clear statements, which were threatening the minorities as well as the communal fabric of India.