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‘Will Emerge Stronger’: Twitter Shows Solidarity With Arrest of Students Under Lockdown as Jamia Millia Islamia Turns 100, Trends #StandWithJamia

#StandWithJamia trends on Twitter in solidarity with Meeran Haider, Safoora Zargar, Shifa-Ur-Rehman and Asif Iqbal Tanha, arrested under UAPA as Jamia Millia Islamia marked 100 years on Saturday

Published: May 23, 2020 8:46 PM IST

By Trending Desk | Edited by Zarafshan Shiraz

Twitter stood in solidarity with students arrested during lockdown as Jamia Millia Islamia marked a centenary on May 23, 2020
Twitter stood in solidarity with students arrested during lockdown as Jamia Millia Islamia marked a centenary on May 23, 2020 (Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

With a starry alumni list including Shah Rukh Khan, Virender Sehwag, Kiran Rao, Mouni Roy, Kabir Khan and others, Jamia Millia Islamia has produced a number of renowned actors, journalists and academicians. As the varsity completed 100 years on Saturday, Twitter broke with the hashtag ‘Stand with Jamia’. Recalling the sacrifices of its leaders in India’s freedom struggle, celebrities, Jamia students and alumni drove netizens attention towards the recent arrests of Meeran Haider, Safoora Zargar, Shifa-Ur-Rehman and Asif Iqbal Tanha, who were charged with UAPA while the country was under a nationwide lockdown.

The Delhi Police had arrested Meeran Haider, a PhD student of Jamia, in the first week of April. According to PTI, Meeran was called for interrogation, despite the lockdown on Wednesday, at Lodhi Colony office by the Special Cell and was then arrested. Another student and the media coordinator of Jamia Coordination Committee, Safoora Zargar, was arrested next after being accused of organising the anti-CAA protests last year in Jaffrabad area of Delhi. These were followed by arrests of Shifa-Ur-Rehman, the president of the Jamia Alumni Association and student Asif Iqbal Tanha. All four have been charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

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On Saturday, while recounting Jamia’s various sacrifices for the country, along with a list of the gems that it has produced in the past, Twitter observed the centenary by showing their solidarity with the recent four arrests. While actor Zeeshan Ayyub wrote, “Protests को crime मानना दिखाता है कि कुछ बड़ा घपला है। #StandWithJamia (When protests are seen as a crime, it shows that there is something very wrong)” sic, Rohith Vemula’s mother, Radhika Vemula tweeted, “My son Rohith was martyred in struggle for inclusive education. He was vilified & hounded. Today I am enraged to see similar attacks & arrests of Jamia students by brahminical regime. They don’t want students from marginalised communities to get higher education. #StandWithJamia” sic. Others too pointed out how Jamia Millia Islamia was a nationalistic project for Mahatma Gandhi and was an initiative which would serve as a living example of Hindu-Muslim unity.

Check out Twitter’s reaction on Jamia turning 100 here:

Last month, over 20 celebrities from Hindi film fraternity, stand-up comics and activists criticised the Delhi Police for its “witch-hunt” of anti-CAA protestors amid COVID-19 pandemic. The signatories included Mahesh Bhatt, Aparna Sen, Ratna Pathak Shah, Anurag Kashyap, Vishal Bhardwaj, Vishal Dadlani, Nandita Das, Konkona Sen Sharma, Hansal Mehta, Onir, Sushant Singh, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Neeraj Ghaywan, Ashwini Chaudhury, Ankur Tewari, Abish Mathew, Andre Borges, Mallika Dua, Saba Singh Azad, Sohail Tatari, Kushan Nandy among others. The statement came days within the arrest of two Jamia Millia Islamia students and several activists from North-East Delhi localities who had taken part in the peaceful sit-in protests.

Calling the move by Delhi Police “utterly inhuman and undemocratic”, the statement released asserted that “making several people travel to police stations every day and then throwing some of them to jails also defeats the purpose of the lockdown and makes a mockery of social distancing.” Urging the Delhi Police to “stop abusing the lockdown, respect the human rights of our fellow citizens and put an end to this witch-hunt”, the statement demanded the release of the students and activists arrested at a time “when there is hardly even any media coverage of its actions”.

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