'Govt crushing dissent...': Kanhaiya Kumar, 'missing' from action for weeks, speaks out on Umar Khalid's arrest
Photo by ANI

fStudent activist turned politician Kanhaiya Kumar had first made headlines in 2016, after becoming embroiled in the Jawaharlal Nehru University sedition row. And while there has been many an event since then, the constant has been Kumar's penchant for speaking his mind whenever an struck him as being unfair.

Thus, when he stayed silent following the arrest of Umar Khalid under the UAPA, many on social media platforms began wondering where the CPI leader was.

"Where is Kanhaiya Kumar? Has he said anything against the arrest of Umar Khalid?" wondered one Twitter user recently.

"His last tweet was on July 21, I hope he is well. He is a person who will never be silent on the face of oppression! I worry for his safety!" noted another.

For the uninitiated, former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Umar Khalid was arrested late on Sunday night under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for his alleged role in the northeast Delhi riots. He has been remanded in police custody for 10 days and will reportedly be confronted with huge technical data running into 11 lakh pages, "as well as other evidence collected during investigation of present case and also to examine at length about other suspects and various other aspects".

Speculation about Kanhaiya Kumar had also escalated after some said that he had given a press conference "on Delhi Police’s flawed investigation of NE Delhi violence" a miss. He was supposed to have been a speaker at the gathering.

Eventually however, Kumar appears to have resurfaced, with a massive social media post that expounds on his feeling about the recent events.

baat peepalee mein kisaanon par hue laatheechaarj kee ho ya phir begoosaraay mein kisaanon par hue daman kee, ek baat bilkul saaph hai ki korona kee rokathaam mein viphal yah sarakaar arthavyavastha aur lokatantr donon ka kachoomar nikaal rahee haii jo bhee sarakaar kee is naakaamee ka virodh karate hain, unako kisee na

"Whether it is a matter of lathi-charging farmers in Pipli or the oppression of farmers in Begusarai, one thing is clear that this government is failing to prevent COVID-19, and has affected both the economy and the democracy" he notes.

Kumar says that those opposing the failures of the government were being "tortured" on one or the other way. "For the past several months, many famous and well-known names of the country have paid the price of raising their voice by staying in jail," he says. Kumar gives several examples, from farmers of Assam and Akhil Gogoi to Sudha Bhardwaj and Anand Teltumbde and Dr Kafeel Khan.

Coming to those arrested or detained over the Delhi riots, Kumar noted that even today "many social and political activists opposing the NRC and CAA remain lodged in jails".

"Hundreds of people have been called for questioning by the police and many students have been arrested. In this episode, after Natasha and Devangana, Umar was also arrested recently and sent on ten days police remand," he notes. As he put it, the limit had been reached when Sitaram Yechury, Yogendra Yadav, Saba Diwan, Rahul Roy, Professor Apoorvanand and Professor Jayati Ghosh were being charged with allegations of inciting the riots.

"The question is why the BJP leaders, who openly incited the riots, were not called for questioning and why they were not arrested. The question of investigation of Delhi riots is bound to arise because the purpose of this investigation is not to ensure justice but to take political revenge," he alleged.

Free Press Journal