Protest at Chidambaram's home over harassment of Muslims

Protest at Chidambaram's home over harassment of Muslims

Police on Thursday detained about 50 people protesting outside union home minister’s P Chidambaram’s residence over harassment of Muslims “in the name of fighting terrorism”.

Before being taken into custody for an hour, the protesters submitted a memorandum addressed to Chidambaram referring to the Batla House encounter, the jail murder of German Bakery blast accused Qateel Siddique and other cases.

 “They did not have permission to protest outside the home minister’s residence,” said a police officer from Chanakyapuri police station.

“We are forced to gather outside your residence. We have broken with our tradition and etiquette of protest, i.e., to demonstrate at public offices rather than private residences because a large section of our population no longer feels safe in their own homes. Disappearances and illegal detentions have become rampant in the name of fighting terrorism,” their memorandum said.

Protesters said a member of the Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association was questioned by police just before the demonstration.

“The police officer from the special cell, after questioning our member Ahmed Sohaib, returned to ask details about his personal and professional life from his parents. We have written a letter to the National Human Rights Commission and Commissioner of Police asking them to look into the matter,” said Mahtab Alam, an member of the group.

“Initially he enquired about Syed Kazmi. When Sohaib told him that no one by that name lived here, he wanted to know about the teachers’ organisation.

“Sohaib told him such information was available on the organisation’s website and for that there was no need to visit anyone’s home. This was a clear attempt to intimidate and harass Ahmed Sohaib,” the letter said.

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