Dr Kafeel Khan, a vocal critic of the BJP government led by Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested on Wednesday night from Mumbai airport by the UP police that has accused him of trying to spread communal hatred.
The UP police alleged that Khan, who the UP government tried to blame for the deaths of 70 kids suffering from encephalitis in Gorakhpur in 2017, provoked religious sentiments of Muslim students at the Aligarh Muslim University in speech on the Citizenship Amendment Act on December 12.
According to The Hindu, the FIR against Khan said, “Dr Kafeel said in his speech that Mota bhai (home minister Amit Shah) teaches us to become Hindu or Muslim but not human beings.”
Khan’s arrest comes at a time when leaders from the BJP have made outright communal remarks against protesters and even openly threatened Muslim citizen of the country.
The BJP has made a concerted effort to make Shaheen Bagh, where hundreds of women have been protesting since December 15, an election issue — demonising the citizens who have been protesting.
While BJP MP Parvesh Verma claimed that people of Shaheen Bagh would “rape and kill your sisters”, MoS Anurag Thakur made people chant “goli maro saalo ko” in a rally. Home Minister Amit Shah asked people to press EVM buttons with such anger that people of Shaheen Bagh “feel the current”.
In the face of brutal crackdowns on voices of dissent, Khan’s arrest did not go down well with people, who took to Twitter to demand Khan’s release.
Here’s what Twitter users said:
Several Twitter users pointed out that Khan was arrested while there was no action against Thakur or Verma.