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Journalists booked in Deoband over women’s anti-CAA protest

The complaint was lodged by Sub-Inspector Ali Asgar at Deoband Police Station on February 1 and the cases were registered under sections 269, 270, 278, and 290 of IPC.

Swati Sharma | Meerut |

The Deoband Police have named two journalists besides three other persons on charges of their involvement in creating sound pollution by using loudspeakers during the protest of women against CAA and NRC here.

The complaint was lodged by Sub-Inspector Ali Asgar at Deoband Police Station on February 1 and the cases were registered under sections 269, 270, 278, and 290 of IPC. Those named in the FIR are local journalists Musharraf Usmani and Faheem Usmani along with Haider (son of Deoband chairman Mavia Ali) and Shoaib (owner of the shop which gave loudspeakers on rent to protesters) and another unnamed person.

Circle officer of Deoband Chob Singh admitted that cases have been registered against journalists but refused to share any further information.

However, in his complaint, Asgar has called the protest of women unethical and against the directions of the state government. In his complaint, Asgar had said that he has named those persons who were using loudspeakers for their protest. This, according to him, has been creating sound pollution which is hazardous for the health of people.

A delegation of journalists led by Deoband’s Press Association leader Manoj Singhal met the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Deoband on Tuesday and handed over their memorandum demanding an immediate withdrawal of cases against the journalists. Singhal said that this is a pressure tactic of the administration to prevent them from reporting women’s protest. He said that the journalists would be forced to start an agitation if the cases against fellow journalists are not withdrawn immediately.

Journalist Musharraf Usmani said that he used to go to the Idgah ground to cover the protest of the women against CAA and so were Faheem Usmani and many other journalists. On many occasions officials approached him to help them to convince the protesting women to end the protest, he said.

Members of the Press Association, however, said that some female family members of the two journalists had joined the protest and hence cases have been registered against them (journalists) to mount pressure on their families, which is wrong and unacceptable.

Musharraf said that he was not aware of cases being registered against them on February 1 and he came to know about it on Sunday and he got the copy of FIR only through the court.

The women of Deoband are protesting against CAA under the aegis of Mutahida Khawatin Committee since January 27 at the Idgah Ground of Deoband and district officials are leaving no stone unturned to convince them to end their protest.