The Delhi Police’s crime branch has arrested another Jamia Millia Islamia student,Asif Iqbal Tanha on Sunday in connection with the violence near university campus during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act in December last year, reported PTI.
The police said Asif Iqbal Tanha, a resident of Abul Fazal Enclave in Shaheen Bagh, is a member of the Students Islamic Organization and was part of the Jamia Coordination Committee which spearheaded protests against the new citizenship law.
“He has been arrested in connection with a case which was registered at Jamia police station on December 16, 2019 in connection with violence in the Jamia area in which he was named as an accused,” a senior police officer said.
Asif Tanha, 24, is a third-year student of BA in Persian language. On December 15 last year, it was alleged that the protesters had torched four public buses and two police vehicles as they clashed with police in New Friends’ Colony near Jamia Millia Islamia during a demonstration against the amended Citizenship Act, leaving at least 40 people including students, policemen and fire fighters injured, officials had then said.
However, the protesters say the bus was torched by people who were not a part of their protest but wanted to incite violence and implicate them in false case.
“Asif is a key member of the Jamia Coordination Committee and played an active role in organising protest in Jamia in December 2019. He is a close associate of Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Meeran Haider and Safoora Zargar who had been key organisers of anti-CAA protests,” the police officer said. The Jamia student was produced before a metropolitan magistrate who remanded him to judicial custody till May 31, the police officer said.
Asif’s arrest comes after Delhi Police arrested 27-year-old Jamia Scholar Safoora Zargar last month, who is now in the second trimester of her pregnancy. She was sent to Tihar Jail after being charged under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) for her alleged role in the Northeast Delhi riots.
Zargar had been arrested on April 13, after police claimed she was among those who organised an anti-CAA protest and road blockade under the Jafrabad Metro station in Delhi on February 22-23. At the time of her arrest, Zargar was 13 weeks pregnant.
Zargar’s arrest has also been condemned by international human rights organisation Amnesty. On May 1, Amnesty India released a statement saying,
“A particularly distressing arrest was that of 27-year-old Safoora Zargar, a research scholar from Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University. She was arrested on 10 April 2020 by the Delhi police for her alleged involvement in the February Delhi riots. But immediately after getting bail, the Delhi police arrested her again under UAPA and sent to Tihar jail in New Delhi, one of the most overcrowded prisons in the country. At the time of her arrest, Safoora was three months pregnant. She has been repeatedly denied access to her lawyer and her husband due to the nation-wide lockdown imposed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.”