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Lucknow: Activist Arrested By UP’s ATS Moves Court For Bail

Activist Naeem Siddiqui’s only fault was that he, in whatsapp messages, had asked Muslims to wear black bands in Friday prayers and raise black flags on their housetops and shops to protest French President Emmanuel Macron’s support to blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and his offensives comments on Islam.

Kashif Ahmad Khan | India Tomorrow

NEW DELHI—Lucknow-based activist Naeem Siddiqui, who has been arrested by Uttar Pradesh’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) has moved his bail application in judicial magistrate’s court through his advocate Asma Izzat. The order on bail application are likely to be pronounced tomorrow (November 10).

He was arrested on Thursday(Nov 5) in connection with his whatsapp messages in which he appealed people to hold special prayers on Fridays and raise black flags on their houses and shops to protest French President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial statements on Islam and support to caricatures of Prophet Muhammad(Peace Be Upon Him). The depiction of the Prophet in cartoons, photographs or in any other visual form is not permitted in Islam.

Also Read: Family kept in the dark about UP activist’s ‘arrest’ over protest call against French prez

He has been booked under IPC sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups), 505 (statements conducive to public mischief) and 120B (criminal conspiracy). 

Talking to India Tomorrow, Siddiqui’s advocate Asma Izzat said that the order on the bail plea would be issued on Tuesday. She said that there is a provision of 3 years of imprisonment for the charges levelled against Siddiqui.

Siddiqui’s activist daughter, Zainab Siddiqui, had earlier told India Tomorrow that the message circulated on social media by her father had nothing objectionable as he shad simply asked people to resist symbolically by wearing black bands during Friday prayers and keep their shops and establishments closed.

Zainab had alleged that the police had brutally tortured her father and her younger brother and also passed communal slurs when they came for arrest.

In the video circulated on social media, the police can be seen using force during the arrest. Zainab’s brother was released on Friday morning.

On Thursday, the ATS and Lucknow police took his brother and father to the Hasanganj police station without any warrant from their Lucknow house. Zainab alleged that the women members of the family, who resisted the arrest of her father and brother, were badly beaten up and abused by the police.

“Around 10-15 policemen came to my house on Thursday between 5-6 pm and by showing my photo to my father, they started asking about my involvement with the anti-CAA and NRC movement on which my father replied that she is associated with some women’s organisation and works for women’s rights. After that, those policemen left”, Zainab told India Tomorrow.

Zainab further says, “Around 8 o’clock, some people came in plainclothes with some policemen and started carrying my father. There were only women in the house. When we asked the reason, they did not reply. When we resisted the unreasonable arrest, they pushed us, and beat my sisters badly on the road “.

Zainab’s sister told India Tomorrow, “My brother Mohammad Shad (16 years) has been badly hit by the police. He is a student of class 10th and the police kept him in the police station overnight and left at 9 in the morning”.

She said, “My brother Mohammed Shad has suffered several injuries. The police have treated the minor child inhumanely. He is unable to even speak properly and is horrified”.

The video of the entire incident is still circulating on social media in which male policemen can be seen pushing around the women of the house. In the video, policemen can be seen hitting women with sticks.

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