Telangana Police retaliated against anti-CAA protestors by lodging an FIR against students of the University of Hyderabad for participating in the Joint protest against the discriminatory CAA and NRC.
The protest, held at MAANU, was called by HCU Coordination Committee against NRC, CAA, and Maulana Azad National Urdu University (Manu) Student's Union on February 21st.
This comes when the country is witnessing the persecution of student protestors and activists by Delhi and UP police. The case has been registered against 14 students including the leaders of MSF, Fraternity, SIO, BSF, NSUI, JKSA, and AISA. They have been charged under sections 34,143,188 of the IPC.
BSF unit committee member and former BAPSA leader Manikanta Pallikonda remembers the protest to be a peaceful one. He says, "Police stopped and even threatened a few students at HCU gate. With all permission at the MANUU campus, we went ahead to participate in the gathering. And now, after seven months, we are getting to know about an FIR been filed on that gathering."
Manikanta received a letter asking him to be present at the station on the 6th of October. "Also this letter that asks me to appear on 6th October is dispatched from Hyderabad on 8th October and I received it today. So there is no rationale if the police want to pursue this case or want to harass us, of course, with the guidance of university administration," he adds.
The students allege that the university authorities gave the names and details of the students who took part in the strike to the police.
"We have seen how the university functions with the orders from their political masters at the centre. Their anti-Muslim and anti-Dalit mentality is well known as exposed during various earlier protests on Rohith Vemula, Babri verdict, and CAA and NRC," says Thahir Jamal, student leader, and SIO HCU Unit member.
Hadif Nisar, president of Jammu and Kashmir Students Association HCU, believes that the case was registered on the same date of the protest. "But the police are now sending us notices for investigation. It just came out of nowhere today when one of us received the notice. We'll probably have a lawyer and file a writ petition in the Telangana HC to quash the FIR as the protest was peaceful and within our right to do so," he adds.
Sourab Kumar, Ashique Rasool (MSF), Amol Jose, Akash Rathore, Sneha George(NSUI), Bhasker Sarkar (AISA), Ananthu Rajagopal, Mansi Chowdary, Jiyad Hussain (Fraternity), Akram, Sonal (AISA) are some of the others who have been charged.
Meanwhile, MANUU Students Union has issued a statement condemning the FIR and in solidarity with the witch-hunted students that says, "We believe it's nothing but witch-hunting of student leaders to suppress the voice of dissent and Filing FIR is undemocratic and against fundamental rights. We strongly demand TS police revoke all the cases against HCU Student leaders. FIRs can't stop us raising voice against BJP's Fascist agenda India."
(This report has been edited by Anan Ashraf)