The Rihai Manch said that prosecuting artists, journalists, scholars and social activists on charges like treason and terrorism is like crushing democratic values that should be opposed.
Rihai Manch General Secretary Rajiv Yadav said that during the BJP rule, the practice of putting the court case of treason against critics, journalists, comedians, and scholars and putting them behind the bars is fatal to democracy. He said that the biggest victims of these actions taken by the government on the basis of ideology are those who oppose the policies of the government and who come from a minority background.
Rajeev Yadav said that Disha Ravi, Sharjeel Usmani, Munawwar Faruqui, Siddique Kappan, Sharjeel Imam, and recently the workers of the Popular Front arrested by the Uttar Pradesh STF, Inshad and Feroz, residents of Kerala. He said that there are political reasons behind these arrests. It is also evident from this that even after the Supreme Court granted bail to Munawar Farooqui, the Madhya Pradesh Police tried to delay the release and intervened by calling the Supreme Court judge.
He said that the case of Rona Wilson’s laptop being hacked and putting objectionable documents in it showed that there is a lot of conspiracy against ideological opponents at the highest level. Journalist Siddique Kappan was arrested on his way to Hathras to cover the rape victim Dalit girl case under the UAPA. The opinion of experts, including former judges of the Supreme Court, regarding the toolkit on which the treason case has been instituted against Disha Ravi, refutes the allegations of Delhi Police.
The forum general secretary said that Popular Front accused the Yogi government of the fake charges on their activist and the Kerala resident Inshad and Feroz, who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police on February 16. The Popular Front alleges that both of them were picked up from the train on February 11, returning from West Bengal. He said that even during the CAA agitation, the state government had accused the Popular Front of indulging in anti-national activities but it could not produce any evidence in the court and the arrested activists were released on bail by the court.