The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

The arrest of Umar Khalid under the provisions of the draconian UAPA is condemnable. This comes following the detention, under UAPA, of Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita (JNU), Ishrat Jahan, a former Councillor of the Congress Party, Jamia students Meeran Haider also an RJD youth leader, Asif Tanha, Safoora Zagar and Gulfisha Fatima and Shifr-ul-Rehman.

Top BJP leaders who made hate speeches and incited violence are protected by the Central Government, while young peaceful protesters against the CAA are being targeted and arrested citing the utterly manufactured version of the country’s Home Ministry and the Delhi Police linking anti-CAA protests with communal violence. The Central Government must stop the practice of the Special Branch summoning anti-CAA activists for questioning and trying to coerce them into implicating those targeted by the Home Ministry and the Police.

The use of UAPA is to block the normal processes of justice by which they would have been out on bail since, as many of the lower courts have mentioned, there is not a shred of evidence against any of them for inciting violence. The arrests constitute an assault on the constitutional guarantees of the democratic right to dissent.

The CPI(M) has opposed the CAA-NRC-NPR from the beginning both in Parliament and outside in multiple protests throughout the country. It reiterates its strong opposition. It expresses its solidarity with all those facing the repression of the Central Government. It demands the release of all those arrested under UAPA in the Delhi communal violence case.

Recent developments point to the urgent necessity of an independent investigation, under a retired judge, into the causes of the violence as against the biased investigation being conducted by the Delhi police under Union Home Ministry’s guidance.