Hyderabad: The Cyberabad police registered FIR against 14 students of the University of Hyderabad for taking part in protests against CAA at Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) on February 21.

Notices were served to the UoH students and they were asked to appear before the investigating officer on October 6.

“We did not know about the FIR against us. I received the FIR copy this morning through the post. In the copy, they have asked me to appear before investigating officer on October 6 but the notice was dispatched on October 8. I am in Nirmal district of Telangana. The police personnel served the notice to every student who has been named,” said Manikanta, a student of UoH.

Due to the lockdown, many students have left for home. The students named in the FIR belong to different states like Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Bihar.,

“It was on February 21, 2020, most of the organisations on the campus came together to fight against the CAA-NRC and as part of the movement, students from UoH, along with MANUU, held a gathering at MANUU. Our intention was to make more people know about the Draconian law. From HCU, we reached MANUU peacefully but police stopped us twice on the way and even threatened a few students at the HCU gate. However, we took all permissions at the MANUU campus and then proceeded to participate in the gathering which passed off peacefully. Now, after 7 months, we have an FIR filed on that gathering,” said Manikanta.

SI of Raidurgam police station, Muraleedhar, has filed a complaint against the UoH students. ”About 20-30 students of the central university illegally gathered at Coffee Day shop and led a rally from there to MANUU carrying placards and raising slogans against the central government. They also tried to disturb the peaceful atmosphere on the campus through their speeches,” said Muraleedher in his complaint.

Police also alleged that the students did not take permission for the rally either from MANUU or from the police.

In the FIR, the police named Saurabh Kumar, Hadif Nisar, Ashiqurrasool Ismail, Thahir Jamal, Manikanta, Amal Jose, Akash Rathore, Sneha George, Bhaskar Sarkar, Ananthu Rajagopal, Mansi Chowdhary, Jiyad, Akram, Sonal and others, all students of UoH.

“The FIR has been filed in February and accordingly, we are doing our investigation,” said S. Ravinder, SHO of Raidurgam police station.

Students Response

The students are alleging that the FIR upon protesting students show the nexus between the BJP, university administration and police. “They have been trying to silence the dissenting voices. We have seen how the university functions with the orders from their political masters at centre. Their anti-Muslim and anti-Dalit mentality is well known which was exposed during various earlier protests on Rohith Vemula, Babri verdict and CAA and NRC. This is just another episode in the same lines. They want to warn us to keep silent. But how can we keep silent at the face of injustice?” said Thahir Jamal, student of UoH who is in Kerala, now.

The students are saying they were involved in peaceful protest with no intention to cause any public inconvenience or disturb the peace. “This FIR came now even while the protest was held in February. We have no idea why the police is sending us notices now. However, we will cooperate with the investigating agencies and in the meanwhile, we are planning to move the Telangana High Court to quash the FIR,” said Hadif Nisar, a student of UoH, who is in Anantnag, Kashmir, now.

They are also alleging that Telangana government is intentionally targeting students, “This is not fair on the part of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao. He is trying to make politics out of protest. He should remember that it was the blood and sweat of the student community of Telangana that help in achieving separate Telangana,” said Akash Rathore, a student.

Students are also alleging that the government is intentionally targeting staudents“We held our protest in a peaceful manner. The police also know that we did not cause any loss to property during our protest. Is it a crime in India to protest against the anti-people policies of the government,” asked Sonal, a student UoH who is in Bihar, now.

Also, the Gachibowli police registered an FIR against 22 students of University of Hyderabad on January 26 for organising a march from the
University to Ambedkar statue at Masjid Banda, Kondapur. These students were stopped at the university main gate and an FIR had been registered against them.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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