On a day when citizens were not allowed to register their protest against the tidal wave of communal witch hunt, the Delhi Police’s Special Branch was busy intimidating rights activists. In a clear attempt to coerce those raising their voice against brazen high handedness of police and investigating agencies. Mr. Ahmed Sohaib, member of Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association was visited by the Special Branch, ostensibly to ask about the demonstration today. Then the visiting officer began to ask about Mr. Syed Kazmi, and then about the teachers’ organization. The officer returned to ask details about Mr. Sohaib’s personal and professional life from his parents after Mr. Sohaib had left home.
JTSA is an open organization, with all its statements and activities on its website (www.teacherssolidarity.org). The Delhi Police may well be requested to direct their officers to the website instead of wasting time visiting its members.
To protest this brazen act of coercion, activists have written the following letter to the Commissioner of Delhi Police and the Chairperson of NHRC.
The Commissioner of Police,
This is to bring to your notice that members of your force are attempting to intimidate citizens. Our colleague, Mr. Ahmed Sohaib, a University teacher and a member of the Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association, was visited at his residence by one Zafar from the Delhi Police’s Special Branch. Notably, this was on the day when several rights groups had called for a demonstration at the Home Minister’s residence.
Zafar of Special Branch arrived at Mr. Sohaib’s house at 10.25 am, just when he was about to leave for the demonstration. Initially he enquired about Syed Kazmi. When Mr. Sohaib told him that no one by that name lived here, he thereupon wanted to know about the teachers organization (referring to JTSA). Mr. Sohaib told him such information was readily available on the organisation's website and for that there was no need to visit anyone's home. He left thereafter.
However, Mr. Sohaib was accosted by him again at the gate of the colony and tried to extract some information. He then gave Mr. Sohaib his number and asked him to call him in case he came to know anything about Mr. Syed Kazmi or the teachers’ organization. Mr. Sohaib later discovered that Zafar did not leave even after this. Indeed, he went back to Mr. Sohaib’s home and made unnecessary enquiries about Mr. Sohaib’s professional details, whether the flat is rented or self owned etc from his parents. He also wanted to know the name of the landlord.
This was a clear attempt to intimidate and harass Mr. Ahmed Sohaib. We strongly protest this high handedness and urge you to take note of this. We sincerely hope that you will reprimand the official who ordered and carried out the harassment.
Manisha Sethi (Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association)
Shabnam Hashmi (ANHAD)
Harsh Dobhal (HRLN)
Himanshu Kumar (Activist)
Mansi Dev (Activist)