The Delhi Police, which operates directly under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has been creating a narrative about the North-East Delhi violence (February 2020), which can very well qualify for a fictional novel, on the one hand, and on the other, an eye opener for all justice loving people of India to understand how state agencies under an authoritarian rule can manufacture facts to target all voices of dissent.
It is indeed shocking that the charge sheet relating to the Delhi riots has created a narrative that implicates leaders of opposition parties, students, academics, activists and others who have been vocal in criticizing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Register of Ctizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR).
The Delhi Police is clearly trying to frame political leaders, academics and activists who are critics of the anti-people policies and programmes of the current regime. Leaders of the opposition political parties, including Sitaram Yechury, Brinda Karat, Kavita Krishnan, Salman Khurshid ,Annie Raja, and academics like Apoorvanand, Jayati Ghosh, activists including Prashant Bhushan, Anjali Bhardwaj, Yogendra Yadav, Harsh Mander, and film makers Rahul Roy and Saba Dewan have been named in the charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police in FIR 59/2020.
They are being shown in different ways as provocateurs and planners of the Delhi violence. This is supposedly a result of the investigation by the Delhi police to unearth the conspiracy behind the Delhi violence.
I have been informed by the media that my name also appears in the charge sheet along with many others.
This basically serves two purposes – one to save the actual perpetrators of the violence and second to ensure that all voices of dissent in Delhi are suppressed. This false narrative is part of a witch hunt to take revenge on those who dared to disagree with the government and exercise their democratic right of freedom of speech and expression in a peaceful manner to oppose the discriminatory and anti-constitution CAA.
Since coming to power in 2014 the fascist forces have been targeting intellectuals, writers, poets, activists. They have effectively used media to discredit and malign them. Now they have gone one step further to falsely implicate them in Delhi riots.
I maintain that disagreement with the policies of the government and dissent is a constitutionally guaranteed right. I have always protested against injustices and against the anti-people policies and draconian laws including the CAA, NRC and NPR and I will continue to raise my voice against those actions which I find anti-democratic and anti-people. This is what scientific temper demands from me.
I demand that the government stop criminalizing dissent.
*Scientist, poet and filmmaker