Ahmed is a Jamia Millia Islamia University student and was enrolled in a Masters’s program in Social Exclusion and Inclusion. He belongs to the Bahraich district in Uttar Pradesh and is a student activist. He was the Delhi State Secretary of the Campus Front of India (CFI), the student wing of the Popular Front of India.
He has been an advocate of education for marginalized communities and has always believed that education is the only headway for underprivileged communities. While studying in Jamia Millia Islamia, many students from Afghanistan witnessed how he was always at the forefront of helping students apply for various scholarship programs.
Masud was arrested on October 5, 2020, along with journalist Siddique Kappan, scholar-activist Atikur Rahman, and Mohammed Alam, a cab driver, while they were on their way to Hathras to meet the family of a 19-year-old Dalit girl who was gang-raped and murdered by the upper caste Hindu men.
Among the other three, the Uttar Pradesh police falsely accused Masud of being an accomplice in the alleged conspiracy to create communal violence and disrupt peace in Hathras. On October 8, 2020, Masud and the other three were booked under FIR 199/2020 and charged with section 17 of UAPA.
Immediately after his arrest, Afghan academics from Jamia Millia Islamia issued a statement seeking Masud’s release, saying they’ve always known him at the forefront of helping students with scholarship applications and playing various roles in community upliftment programmes.
After refusal to hand the chargesheet, the Special Task Force of Uttar Pradesh Police in April 2021 filed a 5000-page chargesheet against Masud and seven others, accusing them of sedition and conspiring to incite caste violence in Hathras district.
As per Al Jazeera, 44 out of 55 people named as prosecution witnesses are police officers. His lawyer Saifan Shaikh said most of the case built against him is based on his activism against BJP and the RSS. The lawyer has also accused the police of torturing Masud in custody.
Charges and Allegations
Booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and IPC Sections dealing with sedition 124 (A), promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion.
The Court has rejected Masud’s multiple bail applications and he is currently lodged in Mathura jail. During a phone call in March 2021, he told his family that he feared a physical attack from prisoners who were moved into his jail unit.