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Women in Rampur demand release of their kin arrested after anti-CAA protests

Show-down: In this file photo, policemen are seen clashing with protesters in Rampur.

Show-down: In this file photo, policemen are seen clashing with protesters in Rampur.   | Photo Credit: PTI

An FIR was registered by the police against 116 named protesters and around 3,000 unnamed protesters after the protest on Dec. 21, in which one person was killed with gunshot injuries

For the last three days, hundreds of Muslim women are sitting in Rampur’s Jama Masjid, demanding the release of their husbands, brothers and children, who were arrested after the protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act turned violent on December 21, 2019.

“Their demand is that the protest was called by the ulemas of Rampur and they should intervene now to get the 34 people out of the jail,” said Shaila Khan, advocate and president of the Rampur Chapter of the Indian Lawyers Association. She said the protesters went out of control because their leaders were forced to stay at home by the district administration.

FIR registered

A First Information Report was registered by the police against 116 named protesters and around 3,000 unnamed protesters after the protest, in which one person was killed with gunshot injuries. Many of the women say their kin were innocent and were lifted just to fill the list of unnamed protesters.

Rizwana and Nazma, mothers of cousins Shahnawaz and Sharooz, said their 17/18-year-old sons were picked up when they were having their meal. Ms. Rizwana said her husband had suffered a haemorrhage after this happened.

Shabnam, whose husband Pappu was also picked up by the police, said he was the only earning member in the family and she had not been able to feed her one-year-old child properly since his arrest.

Placards reject CAA

The women are holding placards that reject the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), and this has possibly irked the clergy as its senior members suggest that a mosque was not a place of protest. Ms. Khan said there was a sense of fear among the clergy, too, as they felt that the police could detain them as well.

Qualifying the protest as an appeal to get their men released, Muqarram Inayati, secretary of the Jama Masjid told The Hindu that the appeal for a protest on December 21 was taken back by the ulemas on the evening of December 20 under sustained pressure from the district administration. “However, the message could not reach everybody, and people gathered on December 21 to protest. The administration had to call the ulemas to request the protesters to return.”

He said Maulvi Mehboob Ali and other members of the clergy had met the District Magistrate on Wednesday, and he had promised a “positive outcome” in 3-4 days.

‘Court’s decision’

Arun Kumar Singh, Additional Superintendent of Police, Rampur, said 34 persons are under judicial custody. “The investigation is on. We can’t give a timeline. It is for the court to decide,” he said.

Ms. Khan, who fought the election to the post of Municipal Corporation Chairperson on a Bahujan Samaj Party ticket, clarified that her support to the women protesters was only as a lawyer and social activist, and had no political motive.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 9:35:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/women-in-rampur-demand-release-of-their-kin-arrested-after-anti-caa-protests/article30579419.ece

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