The Delhi police on Saturday arrested two activists from Pinjra Tod organisation in connection with an anti-CAA protest in Jaffrabad that led to an anti-Muslim pogrom in north-east Delhi in February this year.
Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, two women activists from Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, also belong to Pinjra Tod (Break the Cage) group, a collective of women students and alumni of colleges from across Delhi. The bio of the group’s Twitter handle reads, “We are an autonomous collective of women students fighting for a just, accessible, non discriminatory University and affordable accommodation!”
Delhi had witnessed a large-scale anti-Muslim pogrom in February this year when more than 50 people were killed. The bloodshed was started soon after several top BJP functionaries made provocative speeches targeting the Muslim community.
The arrest of two JNU students by the Delhi Police caused a huge furore on the microblogging site on Saturday. Many slammed the Delhi Police for not taking action against BJP leaders but targeting those who opposed the discriminatory anti-CAA law.
Noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan wrote, “Delhi Police arrest two women from Pinjra Tod over February protest. The Jafrabad sit-in had prompted a pro-CAA rally by BJP’s Kapil Mishra. Mishra who gave the call of ‘Goli Maro salon ko’ is still at large. But peaceful protestors are arrested!”
Author Nilanjana Roy wrote, “Students and activists: arrested. Gunmen and those who chanted goli maaron saalon ko: still free. Ask why.
Question these arrests, release all those who’ve been wrongly jailed and dragged into this shoddy, tattered #DelhiRiotsConspiracy theory.
Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on 24 February after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control.”
Former Congress MP Sushmita Dev tweeted, “@DelhiPolice has been under tremendous pressure since lockdown but their selective prosecution is questionable. What action have they taken against BJP leader Kapil Mishra ? Or does he have immunity from law.
Earlier, the Delhi Police also arrested Jamia Millia Islamia University student Asif Iqbal Tanha for his alleged involvement in the Delhi pogrom. Also arrested for the similar charge are Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider. Shifa Ur Rehman, Shadab, Sharjeel Imam. All of them have been charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, also known as UAPA. Imam, in particular, has been booked under sedition charge.