In February 2020, North East Delhi riots broke out. The police falsely accuses anti-Citizenship Bill protesters of conspiracy to disturb law and order in the city. The claim disproportionally targets the Muslim youth as a ‘mastermind’ of communal violence, which was in fact orchestrated by Hindu right-wing organisation with support from the state.
In July 2020, Tasleem Ahmed was arrested in connection with the communal violence. He has been booked under the anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the infamous FIR 59/2020 in which nearly a dozen other activists have been booked.
Ahmad was the owner of a coaching center. He is a resident of South Delhi, Sangam Vihar, and his family hails from Uttar Pradesh. Ahmed doesn’t have any history of activism. As an owner of a coaching center, his life was confined to his students. His involvement in the protest stems from the discriminatory nature of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
His wife, Fehmida asserts, “he used to participate in the protests against the CAA-NRC to fight for our rights, it’s not wrong to fight for our rights.”
Circumstances of Arrest
The Delhi Police argues that Ahmad was part of a small group associated with the Seelampur protest. The area became a flashpoint triggering communal violence.
His Lawyer denies the allegations claiming the foundation of it as flawed and concocted. His father, Zahid Ali, also asserted that Ahmed was at home when the violence broke out.
Ahmed was arrested twice in connection with occupying the road at Jafrabad, and granted bail on June 10, 2020. After a few days, he was summoned again by the Police for interrogation. In the second arrest UAPA was invoked against him.
According to his Lawyer, Mahmood Pracha, the police had arrested Ahmed because he refused to implicate others and testify as a witness in front of the magistrate. “They [police] wanted him to testify to their lies,” “This has not only happened with him. This has been their copy book method that if you do not become a witness, then you will become an accused.”
Charges and Allegations
Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, a draconian anti-terror law.
His bail application was dismissed. Not yet released.