Press Club of India, New Delhi
A vilification campaign against Popular Front of India has been devised by the Uttar Pradesh government and UP Police. A conspiracy to stifle the activities of Popular Front of India and suppress its members is under way. They are utilizing the peculiar circumstance developed in the country since the passage of Citizenship Amendment Act.
Though the popular protests broke out against the anti-constitutional and discriminatory CAA was people’s democratic expression of their dissent and exercise of their freedom granted by the constitution, it is being treated as a crime by the government and authoritarian measures are being used. While Prime Minister Modi made communal remarks about the protests Yogi Adithyanath encouraged the police to crush them. The fact cannot be denied that the protests happened across the country but it was only the BJP ruled states which tried to deny the people their right to protest and later used Police against the protesters causing the death of 27 people. This discriminatory attitude of the authorities is what led to severe atrocities and human rights violations especially in UP. Shocking reports and video evidences have emerged which shows how the Police attacked houses, vehicles and shops in Muslim dominated areas. Another shameful incident of sexual assault on Madrasa students in Police custody has also been reported. There are various fact-finding reports coming out about it.
The truth is the protests were spontaneous and people of all sections of Indian society, regardless of all their differences, joined hands to reject CAA. The violence during the protests was committed by police and Hindutva gangs. The chief minister of UP openly stated that he will take revenge against the protesters and now we witness how the Police was used to fulfill the revenge announced by the CM. The role of UP Government and Hindutva goons in this carnage lay bare to the whole world. Therefore they are now trying to wash their hands off putting all the blame on people and organizations who participated in the protest. Police has illegally arrested activists and organizations on fabricated charges and slapped draconian provisions on them. The entire Police action has proven to be a fake exercise as there are reports that Police has even booked dead persons as perpetrators.
To divert the attention of the people from the police atrocities the UP Police and government are now targeting Popular Front of India. Popular Front state ad-hoc committee convener Wasim Ahmed and committee members Qari Ashfaque and Mohammed Nadeem are arrested on fake charges of planning the violence. This police action in fact seems to be a follow up of the baseless allegation leveled by state Deputy Chief Minister that Popular Front is behind all untoward incidents. The police and UP ministers have made tall claims of Popular Front’s involvement in the violence but till date they have failed to provide any evidence. Very often it is said by the Police that they found “incriminating” and “provocative” literature from the organization’s office but till date they could not prove what is incriminating or provocative. We are very confident that leaders of our organization and other activists who are arrested will soon be released through the courts as the UP police will fail miserably to prove the charges against them.
It is also reported that the UP state has sought a ban on Popular Front of India from the centre. We condemn this move, which is nothing but a 'face saving act'. The move against Popular Front is yet another authoritarian step by Yogi Police against democratic activism in the state. We would like to make it clear that there is no reason to ban Popular Front as all the allegations against us are baseless. There is no legal ground for the state or centre to take such a drastic step for banning a peoples movement like Popular Front. It should be noted that the allegations which are being leveled against Popular Front are very old and nothing has been proved for years. Popular Front has been working in the state openly among people like anywhere else in the country and we welcome all kinds of impartial inquiries about any of the accusations made against us. Popular Front is being malign and defamed only because of our uncompromising stand against the communal policies of the BJP and RSS. The slanderous campaign against Popular Front is a warning to all dissenting voices in the country. We urge all the democratic forces in the country to come forward and raise their voice against this injustice.
Popular Front of India has strong belief in the Indian Constitution and our rich democratic culture. We are committed to strive for the protection of the constitutional rights of every citizen and such slanderous campaigns against us cannot deter us from this path. We will fight this political vendetta through legal and democratic means.
O.M.A Salam, Vice Chairman – Popular Front of India
Anis Ahmed, Secretary – Popular Front of India
AS Ismail, North Zone President - Popular Front of India
Pervez Ahmed, State President - Popular Front of India, Delhi
Dr. Mohammed Shamoon – Director, PR Popular Front of India