Nineteen-year-old Dalit girl was raped and murdered in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras. State police cremated her at night without the consent of her parents. Atikur Rahman is an activist-scholar arrested in October 2020 when he was on his way to meet the bereaved family in Hathras.
Life and Activism
The activist has a long history of severe cardiac ailments. He is suffering from Severe Aortic Regurgitation – a cardiac problem that develops when the aortic valve in the heart does not shut securely enough. Heart failure is the most dangerous consequence that might occur as a result of this condition. He has visited hospitals in Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Aligarh, and AIIMS in Delhi, seeking treatment for this condition. He was vocal during the Anti-CAA protests, as a research scholar of Meerut’s Chaudhary Charan Singh University, and as an active member of Campus Front of India, Rahman was at the forefront to assert his dissent.
Circumstances of Arrest
Rahman was arrested among four people by the Uttar Pradesh Police on the 5th of October, 2020, on his way to express solidarity with the family. According to Mateen- Atiq’s brother, a month before Atikur Rehman’s arrest, the AIIMS doctor advised him to have a Bentall procedure to replace his aortic valve. That’s why we filed a plea for him to be released on interim bail for 60 days so he could get the surgery done.
Charges & Allegations
The Uttar Pradesh police claimed that Rahman and his companions were trying to politicize the rape case and incite caste-based violence in Hathras.
He was initially charged with IPC Sections 124-A (sedition) and UAPA along with relevant sections of IPC. The UP police filed Prevention Against Money Laundering Act (PMLA) charges after citing his affiliation with Campus Front of India and alleged that he was engaged in fundraising for terrorist activities.
On September 22, 2020, while he was being taken for a hearing in jail to a PMLA court, his condition worsened, and on September 23, 2020, the Court directed that he should be taken to AIIMS.
In the last order, the Court said police should take him to AIIMS. He was supposed to undergo surgery for aortic regurgitation in November 2020. His family demanded his urgent release. Rahman was allowed to go for heart surgery sanctioned by the Allahabad High Court after his family moved an urgent plea in November 2021.
Rahman has become partially paralyzed. His family raised serious concerns about his health.