BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: There is anguish among Muslim youth leaders and activists with respect to the arrest of Meeran Haider, the president of RJD youth wing’s Delhi unit. The demand for his release has been trending on social media and they are also demanding Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav to take action for Haider and extend their support to him in this difficult time.
Haider was denied bail on 7th of April 2020 (Sunday) and sent to police remand again till 15th of April 2020.
Meeran Haider, a PhD scholar at Jamia Millia Islamia and a member of Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) was called for interrogation by the special cell of Delhi police on first of April and was subsequently arrested for allegedly conspiring to incite large-scale communal violence in North East Delhi in February.
Jamia Coordination Committee calls it an attempt to target the anti-CAA voices. “The FIR on the basis of which Meeran was arrested is far-fetched and does not sound believable to any sane person. It brings together randomly chosen leaders and cooks up connections between them in an effort to shift the blame of the riots, and to cripple voices of resistance against the regime. This communal and Fascist regime is witch-hunting each and everyone who have strongly opposed CAA, NPR and NRC”, reads the statement released by JCC.
“It is shameful that even in circumstances like these, Muslim voices are being targeted and witch-hunted by the state. JCC demands that he must be immediately released as all charges against him are baseless,” said the statement by JCC, calling his arrest a witch-hunt by the police.
JCC urged all the organisations in solidarity with JCC and anti-CAA protest to extend solidarity to him.
It needs to be noted here that Haider remained active as a strong voice against mob lynching, hate campaigns, fake news, CAA and NRC, and worked as a social worker helping the Delhi riot victims. He was also arranging ration for those migrant labourers who were stranded in Delhi due to lockdown. Before joining RJD, he was officially a member of the student wing of Aam Admi Party, CYSS.
Journalist and Jamia Alumnus Asad Ashraf expressed his discontent over lack of support to Haider with respect to his arrest.
“The silence over the arrest of our friend and RJD leader Meeran Haider is disturbing. He is a well-known face in the university and also in the locality. Meeran believed in remaining connected to people on the ground and didn’t care much of networking with big wigs of Delhi’s civil society”, wrote Ashraf.
According to Haider’s lawyer Sarim Naved, he has been charged under several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including 124 A (sedition), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, etc.) and 120 B Criminal conspiracy), etc. Haider’s lawyer commented that there was hardly any case against Haider and the matter will not sustain in the ‘due process’.
In the police notice dated March 31, he was called to join the investigation in the case pertaining to FIR no. 59/2020. However, Haider’s name is not mentioned in the FIR. The FIR names Umar Khalid, a former student of JNU and Danish, a resident of Bhajanpura, N-E Delhi. It is alleged in the FIR that Umar Khalid made hate speeches and disseminated propaganda in two places to destabilise the visit of US President Donald Trump.
Rajya Sabha MP from RJD and Delhi University professor Manoj Jha tweeted demanding Haider’s release. “Dear Friends… met #MeeranHaider.. he is fine and quite confident. We are at the centre of several battles and most of them are following the script of #Demonising the #Other. But We shall fight and we shall win… Jai Hind”
“Delhi Police called him for investigation and then received orders from above and arrested Meeran Haider, who has been helping people during the time of coronavirus outbreak.” Jha tweeted in another tweet.
Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi tweeted about Haider’s arrest and raised questions on RJD but Tejasvi Yadav remained silent and he has not responded till now.
Students RJD unit of JNU had also demanded the release of Haider and said the police should become ‘’people-friendly” and not scare people.
Many student activists and youth political leaders allege that the arrest of Meeran Haider is nothing but an attempt to vilify the Muslim voices of dissent and demonise Muslim youth leaders. They allege that earlier Dr Kafeel Khan, Sharjeel Imam and Khalid Saifi were witch-hunted and now Meeran Haider is being targeted because of his religious identity.