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Larger conspiracy? Delhi police questioning Prof Apoorvanand termed 'abnormal'

By Our Representative

In what has been termed as “nationwide condemnation”, more than 1,300 concerned citizens, including academics and social activists, have protested against the Delhi Police interrogation of Apoorvanand, professor of Hindi literature, Delhi University, stating, it is part “a clear strategy” by the capital’s cops to present protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as a conspiracy to plan and stage the communal riots that shook Delhi in late February.
On August 3, 2020 the Special Branch of the Delhi Police called in Prof Apoorvanand, who is also a writer and public speaker, and interrogated him for five hours in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots. The cops seized his phone.
Pointing out that “this comes close on the heels of the interrogation of many other activists”, the statement by concerned citizens, forwarded by activist with the human rights organization, Anhad, accuses the authorities seeking to hauling up “leading public voices to police stations merely because they speak against the policies and ideology of the ruling government.”
Stating that this suggests “democracy today faces its most serious crisis since independence, far more critical than Indira Gandhi’s Emergency 45 years ago”, the statement say, “As concerned citizens who love and value our democracy, and our country, we must speak out before it is too late and all voices of freedom are silenced forever.” 
“Like dozens of others in the past two months, Prof Apoorvanand has been summoned under section 43F of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA)”, the statement says, adding, “This is not all – the summons mentions 19 sections of the IPC; two sections each of the Prevention of Damage of Public Property (PDPP) Act; two sections of the Arms Act; and, finally, four different sections of the UAPA.”
Like dozens of others in the past two months, Prof Apoorvanand has been summoned under section 43F of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act
The statement underscores, “This is not a normal enquiry or police business as usual. This is part of the larger design to shut down all dissent in the country so that no one dares question authority. Over the past several months, students, activists, writers, artists, journalists and other public persons who participated in the anti-CAA protests have been targeted for repeated inquiries, and many have been arrested.”
It continues, “Under the omnibus FIR 59 of 2020 alone, more than 17 arrests have taken place already under the UAPA, and over two hundred have been arrested under sections of the IPC. The intense activity of the Delhi Police in pursuing this line of inquiry is in marked contrast to their inaction in investigating leaders associated with the BJP who were seen inciting violence on public television.”
Drawing a parallel with the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case, the statement says, it is also part of the “nationwide hunt against alleged urban Naxals, while those who were so clearly responsible for instigating riots after the Elgar Parishad meeting in December 2017 are being allowed to go scot-free”.

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