Strongly condemns suppression of Citizenship agitations and arrests of leaders and protesters

The opposition of the Indian citizens to the Citizenship Amendment Act is getting wide- spread day by day all over the country. They are coming to streets in large number and expressing their anger and frustration through various modes of protest against this unconstitutional act. Except a few incidents of police brutality, the agitations are peaceful and democratic everywhere. All sections of people, organisations, parties, women and students of the country, regardless of their differences, have joined this expression of democratic dissent against the very demolition of secular concept of citizenship.
The reports flowing in from different parts of the country, especially the BJP ruled states show that the BJP governments at the centre and in states have started suppressing the peaceful agitations by use of brutal force. In many states prohibitory orders are applied, atmosphere of terror is created and local leaders and activists and taken into custody. Even renowned scholars, prominent activists and national leaders of political parties are arrested in order to prevent them from leading the protests.
In the national capital, followed by police brutality on students of Jamia Millia, the Red Fort March called by various civil society groups and secular parties today is disturbed by mass arrest of the participants. This highly condemnable act of repression proves that the BJP is hostile to expression of political dissent even when it is lawful and peaceful. CPM leader Sitaram Yechuri, CPI leader D Raja, SDPI leader Drs Tasleem Rehamani etc are also among hundreds of protesters who have been taken into custody in Delhi today. Moreover, many metro stations are closed and internet is disconnected in many parts of the national capital in an attempt to contain people’s anger against the government. As per reports, 130,000 security forces are being deployed to crush peaceful protests.
In Bangalore, most renowned historian Ramachandra Guha was arrested. In Assam, with the motive of communally dividing the agitations, Popular Front state president Aminul Haque is booked in false cases and raids were held in offices and residences. In UP, they have imposed prohibitory orders and activists including Popular Front local leaders are being taken into custody in different places.

We condemn all repressive measures by the BJP central and state governments that are undemocratic, unlawful and unconstitutional. We also warn the power centres that people’s voices for the protection of citizenship rights cannot be curtailed by any such moves as it is the response of the nation, irrespective of other differences, against the divisive agenda of RSS and BJP. We demand the government and all forces that control it to withdraw from such moves including the new amendment to citizenship right.

Adv Sharfuddin Ahmed, National Vice President, SDPI
Mohammed Shafi, National General Secretary, SDPI
E. M. Abdul Rahiman, National Executive Council member, Popular Front of India
A. S. Ismail, North Zone President, Popular Front of India
Pervez Ahmed, Delhi State President, Popular Front of India