After four days of being granted bail in a case charged on a 24 minutes long speech he made at Aligarh Muslim University on December 12, 2019 against CAA, Dr Kafeel Khan is charged with National Security Act today early in the morning. The Aligarh chief judicial magistrate had granted him bail hailing a citizen’s right to make free speech, on monday.
Dr Kafeel was arrested on January 29 from Mumbai airport while he was on his way to Keralam to inaugurate an anti-CAA Kerala long march from Kasargode. Dr. Kafeel was arrested by Uttarpradesh special task force and sent to Mathura jail. He was accused of fanning communal hatred in his speech and was charged with 153A, 153 B, and 109 IPC.
Dr Kafeel’s advocate Irfan Gazi told Keyboard Journal that charging of NSA is “open injustice” and the detention of a gentle and active social activist Dr Kafeel Khan by the BJP government of Utharpradesh is vindictive. “We went to the jail in the morning to receive him, after waiting for hours we were told that he is charged with NSA. There is Supreme court judgment that if anyone is granted bail, the person can’t be charged with NSA. This way it is illegal too. We received the details of the case, there is no ground in which NSA can be charged. The district administration says it is because of Dr Kafeel Khan’s speech the students are provoked and they connected the students uprising to his speech. That is the reason they gave.” Gazi told the media.
“I got a news now that Aligarh police has charged an FIR with 153A, alleging that I tried to create riot between two religions in my speech. You have to listen to my speech in full. I was telling the boys, we respect Dr Baba Saheb’s Constitution. We are Indian first. I tried to make the students understand what is CAB, what is NRC.” In a video, Dr Kafeel himself had passed his message on the FIR.
Dr Kafeel’s elder brother Adeel Ahmed Khan said that the speech is represented in a twisted manner. “Dr Kafeel didn’t do any hate speech. There is nothing of hatred in his speech. Legally the charging of NSA is not possible when he was granted bail. CJM granted him bail on this FIR.”
Read here what Dr Kafeel Khan said in his speech at Aligarh Muslim University
“We will not become Hindu or Muslim, we will become human being, but our mota bhai is teaching, Hindu banega Musalman banega, Hindu banega, Musalman banega, will not become human being. His clothes are bloodied. What does he know about the Constitution of India? They never believed in Constitution, since the existence of RSS. When we say the home minister is not acknowledging the pluralism, communal harmony, humanity etc. we forget that to whom we are talking to, we are talking to those people who never had acknowledged the Constitution of Baba Saheb Ambedkar. They have never read the Constitution.
Too much of love came from Aligarh. When I was in jail, there was a long protest march that was set off from here for me. I came here after my release. When I got your call yesterday night, I decided I will definitely go.
About CAB and NRC
First of all, I will talk about what is CAB. How many of you know what is CAB? The efforts to enact this bill began in 2015. They have implemented NRC in Assam, 19 lakhs were those people whom they didn’t want to be in NRC. This back fired them. After Kashmir they brought in CAB. CAB excludes Rohingya Muslims, excluding Muslims, excluding atheists, those who face religious persecution will be given citizenship, not to Muslims. You can give citizenship to someone but you can’t take back someone’s citizenship, then why are you protesting? NRC plus CAB is lethal. All these years they were injecting hatred to the minds of our youngsters. It is the result of their years long attempt to spread hatred. The common people who do not know anything about the Constitution are being treated by the powerful as a second class citizen, keeping in mind that this country is not yours.
If NRC is implemented, it will be difficult for us.
NRC was made for Assam, for Assam they made population register. In 2019, they have prepared a list and it is published in home ministry’s website. They are prepared for everything. I will tell this too, there is no meaning in Aadhar card, driving license or PAN card. If you are born here from 1987 to 2004, if one of your parents are born and grown up in India, you are a citizen. From 2004 to now, if you are born and grown up in India, you are a citizen. Nowhere it is written to specify on Muslim. But why are we protesting? Because they are going to trouble us by making us to get certificates and documents. I want to make one thing clear to the current panic created, it is not possible to put lakhs of people to detention centers. They have already spent 1500 crore on NRC in Assam. They need around 30,000 crores to implement this all over India and they want to increase fee in JNU.
“Our demand for food, clothes, shelter, health and education is seventy years old”
“The year in which seventy children died in BRD medical college, eight lakh children died all over India. I am working on Health for All campaign. I already met thirteen chief ministers . I met the health minister. We have a team of twenty five, non-political health activists. From the data we acquired from different world health organizations, we understood that fifty percent of our population is malnourished. India has become third largest country of HIV, second largest country of diabetic patients, 72% population has no health facility. If they get a heart attack they need to travel forty kilometers to reach a doctor. They will not talk about this. They will not talk about primary health centers.
I am roaming around in India and asking everyone regarding this. I am asking people what they want and they say if they get two rotis to have with pride, that’s good. They need to have best hospital facilities when their children fall ill, they need to have good education in AMU, JNU, IIT, they need to get decent employment. Our demand for food, clothes, shelter, health and education is seventy years old. This is everyone’s demand, poor people’s demand. But they will talk about Bajrang Bali, Kashmir, Ram Mandir, CAB, NRC. They will never talk about employment promises and 15 lakhs promised. If you go to the ground level and see how a small scale business man lives, you will get to know. They are talking about nationalism in a pseudo manner on the basis of pseudo Hinduism.
On clean chit and the ‘aftermath’
Two months back I got clean chit from court. Dr Kafeel is the killer, Dr Kafeel is responsible for the child death, etc. were the allegations, and the committee that was set up for enquiry found that Dr Kafeel is the junior most doctor, Dr Kafeel had brought oxygen cylinders, Dr Kafeel had saved lives of children. Then Yogiji started thinking, what will I do now? How to torture him further? So he suspended me again, saying I am talking against the government.
“In the face of tyranny, if I too go silent, who will speak?’’
I appeal to all the brothers and sisters of India who believes in united and prosperous India, should oppose this draconian law. Each and every one should come up. How can citizenship be in the basis of religion? We are citizens of the world. These boundaries are created by the politicians for their sake only. The fight is ours. Aligarh must be the leader. This is the fight of our identity. We need to fight this out. We have to fight in a democratic way. We have to tell people, we have to clear the panic and tell that they don’t have to go to detention centers and that will not happen. How can one justify dividing people in the name of religion? My brother too came with me. when my brother was shot, Yogi Adityanath was present in that area, when my brother was facing a critical medical condition that he had to be taken from the hospital to get the bullets removed, but we were blocked on our way. What is my crime? I saved the lives of children. But Allah must be having some plan. Now I am here with you guys. The most important urgency is this, let us be united. Small fights can stay away for the time being. Someone was saying Pakistan’s Ahmadiyya and Shia sects need to be included in this act, if they do is the problem solved? This way there are attempts to divide. Don’t just be united only in the name of religion. We are human beings first. What Islam teaches us is that our voice needs to be right. Our intentions need to be clear. If so, Allah will take us to his place, Insha Allah.
Now I appeal you to reach out to your non-Muslim friends, tell them that we are not your stereotype, jihadi or Pakistani, we too are doctors, we too are engineers. When someone wearing a tie comes up to save the life of children they wonder, they don’t even know. I have spoken enough. You can’t scare us with CAB. The nation has already given its signal to you that this nation is not yours. They even haven’t told people which all documents are needed for NRC. Aadhar or driving license are not valid documents. The most important thing, this nation is ours, Hindustan is ours and not anyone’s fathers.”
On February second, Bhim Army chief Chandrasekhar Azad extended support to Dr. Kafeel. Azad said that the state shouldn’t think that they themselves are the nation. Dr.Kafeel had become a face. He had raised his voice against anything wrong done by the government, oppressive measures like UAPA, NSA being charged and agencies like NIA are used against those who dissent on the state’s policies, Chandrasekhar Azad said.
In a parliament march conducted on Monday by United Against Hate, Dr. Kafeel Khan’s wife Dr. Shabista Khan said that no one should be arrested for what they said. She emphasized the questions Dr Kafeel had been raising regarding the oxygen tragedy that lead to the death of Japanese Encephalitis affected children due to government’s failure in BRD medical college. “Who is responsible for the oxygen tragedy and don’t justice be delivered to the murdered children?” Shabista said these questions are annoying the government to the core and the same is the reason for continuing victimization of her husband. She also told that Dr Kafeel had said nothing wrong in his speech at Aligarh. The march was joined by parents of youths who were murdered during anti-CAA protests in the states of UP and Bihar.
Protests and campaigns are on seeking the release of Dr Kafeel Khan. NSA on Dr Kafeel Khan indicates that the state’s oppressive measures on anti-CAA dissenters are getting intensified.
Recent cases of charging sedition on anti-CAA protestors demands urgent concern on free speech. Four cases; on JNU PhD scholar Sharjeel Imam for a speech he made at AMU, on a school play in Karnataka’s Bidar which sent a student’s mother Najmunnisa to jail, who got bail today, charges on queer people who sloganeered that “the dreams of Sharjeel will be accomplished”in whose case a positive judgment came from Bombay High Court, on nineteen anti-CAA protestors of Bilariyaganj of Uttarpradesh demands urgent concern on free speech and this shows the dangerous repression on democratic mass protests.