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On August 20th night 12 pm Salman a student and social activist from Trivandrum was picked up by the police from his home in Peroorkada. The immediate accusation against him was that he had insulted the national anthem while it was being played in a theatre, where he had gone to watch a movie. Later his comments on Facebook where he questions nationalism as a philosophical and political concept were also pointed out as a reason for his arrest. It is also being reported that there was a deliberate attempt to frame him by some right-wing hindutva groups and that they are the ones who are behind his arrest.
There is a clear lack of clarity regarding his arrest and the way it was conducted, late in the midnight hours of August 20th. It is clear, though, that none of the customary norms were followed during his arrest. Even after it was said that Salman was taken to the Thampanoor station, the police themselves later denied this. For a whole night and the next day even Salman’s parents had no access to him. In fact, Salman was taken from prison to prison like it is usually done with so called ‘notorious terrorists’ and the police refused to give out any information about him both to his parents and to the lawyers who had contacted them. It was only on August 21st evening that it was made known that there was an FIR recorded against him and that a case was registered under IPC act 124 A and 66 A charging him of sedition and of sending offensive messages through communicative service. Though there were many other students with him it is surprising that it was only Salman who was picked out and arrested.
The media too automatically reiterated the police version in their reports, without attempting to investigate into the case, in spite of the fact that police injustice towards Muslim youth is growing day by day. Further, we want to bring attention to the fact that vigilante right-wing hindutva groups are at present conducting an extremely abusive hate campaign against Salman on Facebook. The abusive comments on his Facebook wall have become so vicious that some even threaten to rape the women who are in support of him.
We strongly condemn the arrest and inhumane treatment of Salman Zalman at the hands of the Kerala police and call for his immediate release. We consider the charging of IPC 124 A (sedition) on him as a gross over stretching of the sedition act to encroach into the rights of a citizen to criticize the nation.We also condemn the abusive campaign that is being conducted on Facebook against him and the discriminatory nature of the media reporting, which is aiding such human right abuses.
It must also be noted that whatever the nature of the crime, the withdrawal of constitutionally established human rights is extremely problematic and illegal. We would surely connect the arrest and incarceration of Salman to the way in which Muslim youth in Kerala and elsewhere are being constantly oppressed by the criminal justice system (please remember the case of Muhsin, another trivandramite youth fabricated in a “letter bomb” case from which he was acquitted only after seven years). To avoid such illegal incarceration and delayed justice we demand that he should be allowed to use his fair legal rights as promised by the constitution.
His arrest is all the more troublesome because he was a student who has been a part of many human rights campaigns in the past and was even an artist in the play that was held in protest against UAPA in front of the Secretariat on August 14th. His clandestine arrest and subsequent secret incarceration and denial of legal access for a whole day and night reeks of police impunity, which selectively target the youth who question state ideology. We must remember that, at this moment, it has become a norm to first arrest, torture and incarcerate Muslims before allowing them to seek any kind of justice. This is sheer discrimination and we urge everyone to come together to condemn the arrest of Salman and to demand his immediate release.
KK Koch, Writer, Activist
Jayan Cherian, Film Maker
Anand Padwardhan, Documentary Film Maker
KK Baburaj, Writer and Activist
Venkitesh Ramakrishnan, Associate Editor,The Hindu / Frontline
T T Sreekumar, Author
Meena Kandasamy, Poet and Author
Amit Bhaduri, Professor Emeritus, JNU
Geevarghese Mor Coorilose, Bishop, Syrian Orthodox Church
Amudhan Ramalingam Pushpam, Documentary Film Maker and Activist
Prof. A.K.Ramakrishnan, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Jolly Chirayath , Human Rights Activist and Convenor, Sthreekootayma
Kavita krishnan, Secretary, AIPWA
Sajeed Khalid, Welfare Party of India
B R P Bhaskar, Writer and Journalist.
Manisha Sethi, Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association
Sourav Banerjee, Poet & Journalist
Rona Wilson, CRPP
Arun Khote, PMARC Media
K P Sasi, Activist and Film Maker
Leena Manimekalai, Poet and Film Maker
Jenny Rowena, Asst. Professor, Miranda House, DU
Mahtab Alam, Activist, Banglore
Dr. Mh Ilias, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
Reny Ayline, Secretary, NCHRO
J Devika, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum
Nivedita Menon, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Janaki Abraham, Delhi School of Economics
Dr Venkitesh Naik, EFLU, Hyderbad
Ranjith Ranjith, EFLU, Hyderabad
Sandeep Samwad, Activist, Delhi
Kirity Roy, Secretary, MASUM
Dr Dibyesh Anand, University of Westminster, UK
Bindu Menon, Academic Delhi University
Nikhila Henry, Journalist, Hyderabad
Ratheesh Radhakrishnan, IIT Bombay
Deepa Vasudevan, Activist, Sahayatrika
Anjali Monteiro, TISS
Naren Bedide, Writer, Round table India.
Anu Ramdas, SAVARIGee Imaan Semmalar, Activist, Bangalore
Rupesh Kumar, Documentary Film Maker
Dr Bhangya Bhukya, Dept of History, Univ of Hyderabad
Huma Dar, Academic, Activist, UC Berkeley
Karthik Navayan,Activist, Human Rights Forum, Hyderabad City Unit
Gopi Krishnan PN, Writer, Kerala
Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Artist, Raqs Media Collective, New Delhi
N. Jayaram, Journalist, Bangalore
Saba Dewan, Film maker, New Delhi
G. Arunima, Academic, JNU
Sabitha TP, University College London, UK.
Deepa Vasudevan, Activist, Kerala
Elizabeth Philip, Activist, Delhi
Dileep V, ViBGYOR Film Collective, Thrissur
Nakul Singh Sawhney, Filmmaker, Delhi
VP Rejeena, Journalist
Ajith Kumar AS, Artist, Writer, Kerala
Dr. Arshad Alam, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Simpreet Sing, Social Activist, Mumbai
Shibi Peter, Student Christian Movement
Kaneeza Fathima, Human Rights Forum, Hyderabad.
Kaveri R Indira, Hyderabad Central University
Bobby Kunhu, Advocate, Kerala
Johnson Joseph, Writer, Activist, Kerala
Namita Aavriti, Activist
Ramlath Kavil, Bombay
Carmel Christy, Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi
K.C. Bindu, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Vinay Bhat, California, USA
Ajay S. Sekher , Academic, Writer, Kerala
Anoop Kumar, Activist
Gogu Shyamala, Anweshi, Hyderabad.
Amita Kanekar, activist
Vivek Anand, Berkeley, CA, USA.
Ameet Parameswaran, Visiting Faculty at Jawaharlal Nehru University
Aswanth, Writer, Director, Designer
Rochelle Pinto, CSDS, New Delhi
S Faizi, Environmentalist
Priyanka Basu Roy, Education officer
Afthab Ellath, Software Development Manager, Ministry of Health, Oman
Varsha Basheer, Academic, Trivandrum
Hany Babu, Associate Professor, Delhi University
Shyma P, Academic, Kerala
Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Activist, Mumbai
Sudeep Ben Aadil-Aman Almitra, NIT, Calicut
Parthasarathi Muthukkaruppan, EFL University, Hyderabad
Tathagata Sengupta, University of Hyderabad
K Ashraf, University of Johannesburg
Rajesh Umadevi- Activist, Bangalore
Muhammed Shah, University of Hyderabad
Asad Ashraf, Jamia Students Solidarity Forum
Kiran Shaheen, Journalist and Activist
Sarat Nalagundi, AIMIM, Hyderabad.
Ubaid Rahman, Journalist
Jaseem PP, Journalist
Ameen Hassan, Journalist
Sadique PK, EFL University, Hyderabad
Thahir Jamal KM, University of Hyderabad
Abdul Vajid, Newham College, London
Sateesh Nainala, Telangana Students Association
Mohan Daravat, DABMSA, Hyderabad
Gurram Raavan, Poet, Telangana
Rafeeq Thiruvaloor, Poet and writer
Abul Kalam Azad, IIT Madras
Nabeel Mohammed AR, Hyderabad Central University
Aby Lizy Abraham, Central University of Kerala
Shinumol TC, Hyderabad Central University
Ramziya Ashraf, Calicut
Abdul Kareem, CEO, Oman Tradanet, Oman
Sunija MV, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Muhammed Afzal P, EFLU Hyderabad
Shafeek H, Vidyathi Masika, Calicut.
Pratheesh Rani Prakash, Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Uzma Qureshi, From “Indian Occupied Kashmir”
Akhil Sasidharan, Trivandrum.
Arjun Hariharan, Thiruvananthapuram.
Pramod Mandade, Mumbai
Aruna Kornana, JNU, New Delhi
Vikram Chukka, Delhi School of Economics
Nidhin Sowjanya , Software Engineer, Bangalore
Archana Rajvir, Bergen, Norway
Ajmal A, Teacher, Karunagapalli
Renny Thomas, JNU
Gajendra Bahuguna, Dehra Dun, STO, IIP
Rohit T Narayan, Heidelberg Univ
Veena Vimala Mani, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras
Hashir K Muhammed, Documentary Activist
Gowhar Fazili DSE, University of Delhi
Vasvi Oza, EFLU, Hyderabad
Nasirudheen Kollathodi, Writer, Kerala
Mohd Muqthar, journalist
Fasila AK, student, Govt. Law College Kozhikode
M.Shreela, Thozhilalar koodam, Chennai.
Aswin Vallath, Kozhikode
Ummul Fayiza, MA Student , JNU Delhi
Korvi Vinayakala, Research Scholar, DU Delhi
Prof. Jose Mario Dolor De Vega, Polytechnic University of the Philippines and Unibersidad de Manila
Kamal Vengara, Malappuram
Anita Dube, Artist, New Delhi.
Ali P Kasim IIT Madras
Sreesanth, Ph.D. Scholar, Pondicherry University
Aparajay, Research Student, MIDS, Chennai
SINANU M M. Fisheries Research Center, Jeddah
Arya P Dinesh, Kochi,Kerala
Naveen Ishak, Trivandrum
Sudheesh sudhakar, teacher, Freelance journalist,Kollam
Venkat T, PhD Candidate, University of Madras, Chennai
Nalini Taneja, Delhi university
Seema Duhan, Student CIIS, San Francisco
Muhammad Juneem, Banglore
Krishanu B. Neog, student, TISS.
Anita Cherian, Academic, Delhi.
Mohit Kumar Pandey, JNU, New Delhi
Deepti sreeram, jnu, New Delhi
Pamposh Dhar, Counsellor, Meditation Teacher, Writer/Editor
Subham Rath , IISc, Bangalore.
Nele Marien Coordinator CBD Alliance
Vikrant Tongad, Environmental Activist & founder of SAFE
Saifulla CMP, Kerala
Dr. Anjali Monteiro, Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
Jyothidas k v, artist and research scholar, JNU
Joshua Isaac K, Activist, Chennai.
Jaseela CV, M.Phil Scholar, Department of Philosophy, Calicut University
Natarajan, Advocate, Chennai
K.P. Jayasankar, Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
Ilyas M Osama, Chennai.
Renoir, Thiruvannur, Kozhikode, Kerala.
Prajeesh A G, Scientist-‘B’, IITM, Pune.
Ajmal A, Indian Institute of Mass communication, New Delhi
Sarath Kumar, Web designer, Calicut
Unnimaya, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
Hafees kolakkodan juail, KSA
Sutanaya, Krantikari Naujawan Sabha.
Midhun Mohan, Goa
Subrahmanian Naduvalath N, Activist
Ain ul Khair, Student, Jamia Millia Islamia
Anshif majeed, Calicut Kerala
Jobin Kanjirakkat Manipal, Research Scholar, Mangalore
Saju Kochery, Kozhikode,
Mtp Rafeek, Journalist, Doha
Dr. Joseph Makkolil, CUSAT
Jahfer Sharif, PhD Student, Indian Institute of Science
Deepak AG, MA Sociology student, Madras University.
Veena Surendran, Research scholar, Department of Geography, University of Madras
Suzanne Adely (International Association of Democratic Lawyers)
Meera M Panicker, IITM
Asif Muhammed (Media Activist)
Jasmin G Russel, IISER Kolkata
K K Sisilu, Calicut Kerala
Arunraj.AK,,Finance Dept, Egypt Air,Qatar
Anju Parvathy , MA student, Delhi University
Muhammed Vasil, University of Hyderabad
Thufail Koran, Hyderabad Central University
Sayoob, IIT Madras
Saifudheen Kunju S, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
Ra Sh, Palakkad
Mahesh R Padayankal, IIT Madras.
Yunus Saleem, Calicut
Yasir Arafath C, Calicut
Haris MN, New Collage, Chennai
Basima Muhammed, UoH, Hyderabad
Ali Ahsan, JNU, New Delhi
Asif KV, JNU, New Delhi.
Ziyana Fazal, JNU, New Delhi
Shihab Parayil, UoH, Hyderabad
Ayoob Rahman, University of Hyderabad
Waseem RS, JNU, New Delhi
Muhsina Ashraf, MANUU, Hyderabad
Abdul Rahman UP, University of Hyderabad
Afsal ES, University of Hyderabad
Dontha prasanth, Ambedkar Students Association, Hyderabad
Zameer, Ambedkar Students Association, Hyderabad
Arun A, University of Hyderabad
Simi Korote, University of Hyderabad
Samia Vasa, Ambedkar University, Delhi
Anupama Ramachandran, SIAS Media School
Rollie Mukherjee, M.S University.
Harshali Potdar, TISS
Heidi Sande Mariam, JNU
Hasna Shahitha Gipsy, Activist, Law Student.
Rajeeve Chelanat, Activist ,Palakkad
Pratheesh Rani Prakash, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
Venkat Narasimham, Activist
Deepak Mercy Johnson, Activist Chennai
Jahfer Sharif, Indian Institute of Science.
Seemanth, National Institute of OCeanography
Tedy Xavier, Activist, Attapadi, Kerala
Shibin MadathilTrainee Copywriter at Fertile-isle
Sujay Radhakrishnan Tv new
Sethu CA, Student activist ,Thamil Nadu
Nisha Thaikkalour, National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), New Delhi
Akhil Sasidharan, Trivandrum.
Ameet Parameswaran, Delhi
Sajeer Bin Abbas, Oman
Nileena Sreelatha Balaram, Pondicherry
Yasir Arafath C, SIO, Calicut
Jayaraj KP, Research Scholar, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
Sayoob, Research Scholar, IIT Madras
Micah Thambi, Research Scholar at Central University of Kerala
Che George, freelance Photographer
Muthuvel Janakarajan, Software engineer.
Zorba Suhaib Zorba, Freelance Content Writer
Sulaiman Vetukad, Vadakancherry.
Waseem Kolakodan, Admission Communication.
Mujeeb Rahman,BBC journalist, Delhi.
Faisel Nilgiris, SIO.
Sipra Mukherjee,West Bengal University, Kolkata
Kisholoy Chesta Choluk, Activist,
Poorva Rajaram, Activist
Achuth, Research Scholar EFLU, Hyderabad
Fasal Rahman, WPI
Anoop Pattat, Irinjallakkuda.
Sham Vishal Bhat
Yunus Saleem, Calicut
Shaji K Shajin
Edwin David Sam
Shajeer , Dubai
Sajad S Santhosh
Antonio M. Claparols
Ilyas Mohamed Osama
T A Subramanya Paddillaya