3 young artists of cultural group Sangwari were detained yesterday in New Delhi’s Parliament Street Police Station, for “looking like JNU students”. They were picked up randomly with 4 more students from Jashn-E-Rekhta, a literary program which they have gone to attend in the heart of India’s national capital. Here is the first hand account of one of the youth, who wants to remain anonymous, sent to us by Kapil Sharma, Convener of Sangwari:
I WAS DETAINED BY THE DELHI POLICE FOR NOTHING AND RIDICULED BY THE MEDIA
This very morning, I had come all the way from Ghaziabad at the IGNCA, New Delhi to attend the “Jashn-E-Rakhta” event and listen to legendary writer Gulzar. I had attended the morning programme and met few friends from my ex-theatre group with whom I planned to go to have some tea and return. We had tea and returned at the main entrance. One of our friends felt thirsty and left for having water. Suddenly a police constable from DELHI POLICE CAME AND TOOK US FOR WITHOUT SAYING ANYTHING.
They snatched our mobile phones switching it off and put in a jeep. We stopped at Parliament Colony Police Station and kept there for sometime. When enquired, the police kept mum. We met three more people who were taken before us from the same venue. Then we were made to put our details on paper and then wait till the Senior Inspector shows up. After almost an hour, the SI showed up and then enquired about us and asked WHETHER WE WERE FROM JNU. We said a clear no. Then the SI lectured on things that WE HAVE BEARD, HAIR GROWN AND WERE IN A GROUP THAT’S WHY WE WERE DETAINED. STUDENTS SHOULD BE AWAY FROM POLITICS AND TERRORISTS CAN BE FROM ANYWHERE AND ANY PLACE. SO PLEASE COOPERATE.
When we asked about having a document from them on writing that why we were detained and we are all clear on which they said that ITS A ROUTINE INVESTIGATION AND NOTHING WOULD HAPPEN. ANOTHER INSPECTOR CAME UP AND THEN ASKED ABOUT OUR DETAILS. HE ALSO JOKED ABOUT OUR APPEARANCES ON WHAT WE WEAR AND PRESENT. One of us was carrying a flag of a party which was used in a demonstration day before to which this inspector said LIKE YOU WILL ALSO CARRY A WEAPON THEN?
When we were freed, I wanted to go on record to tell everything to which a SENIOR JOURNALIST SAID THAT THEY ARE DOING THEIR JOB AND YOUR APPEARANCE LOOKS LIKE THAT OF A TERRORIST SO ALL THIS WAS FOR SECURITY AND THESE YOUNGSTERS ARE STUPID AND HAVE NO IDEA. An ANI journalist sympathized with me and took my byte, I got my phone back and I carried on with my Next project for the day.
There were many people at the “Jashn-E-Rakhta” event who were entering from backside unchecked. Why the police isn’t detaining them? We went inside with full checking and why this stupid attitude by the police like the people in the West on having beard as part of being a terrorist? WHY OUR DETAILS TAKEN WHEN WE WERE CLEAR AND WAS IT FOR THEIR NEXT FRAMING? WHY THIS UNDECLARED EMERGENCY? WHAT’S MILITANCY GOT TO DO WITH YOUNGSTERS WHO HAVE COME TO HEAR A LEGENDARY POET WITH PROPER REGISTRATION? AND WHY NO INFORMATION WAS GIVEN WHEN WE WERE BEING DETAINED?
PLEASE GUYS, SPREAD THE MESSAGE, SHARE THIS STATUS AND HELP US FIGHT AGAINST THIS INJUSTICE.