Officers from Delhi Police special cell raided the Jamia residence of Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, the outspoken Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission on Wednesday 6 May just before iftar confiscating his phone and laptop, but failed to arrest him due to public outrage.
Dr Khan was charged with sedition earlier on Friday 1 May for warning the “Hindutva bigots” of reactions in the Muslim world against their “hate campaigns, lynchings and instigating riots in India”.
Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, author, journalist and a scholar with international reputation is the eldest son of celebrated Quranic scholar and peace activist Maulana Wahiduddin Khan 94, based in Delhi.
While the police wanted Dr Khan to accompany them to the police station, his lawyer Vrinda Grover said that the request was against the law, Dr Khan being senior citizen of 72 years of age and suffering from old age related physical illnesses that make him extremely vulnerable to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Mr Vrinda Grover said that no offence has been committed by Dr Khan on the basis of his social media post.
“A reading of Dr Khan’s social media post shows that the FIR registered against him is motivated, frivolous and unsubstantiated. No offence is made out against Dr Khan,” said Mr Grover.
The police came with a large force to Dr Khan’s residence, questioned him for a couple of hours in the presence of Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan and former Congress MLA Asif Mohammad Khan.
A huge crowd had gathered outside Dr Khan’s home in his support and the police left without taking him to the police station. It is understood that they have asked him to report to the police station for further questioning next Monday 11 May.
“The fact that 40 members of the police descended on the house of Dr Khan indicates that the police want to terrorise Dr Khan and his family members and all those who stand in the way of the BJP’s agenda of suppressing Muslims by arresting each and every one who led anti-CAA movement and implicating them in the northeast Delhi riots in February this year,” said a neighbour living next to Dr Khan’s residence.
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) president Syed Sadatullah Hussaini has demanded that the FIR against Dr Khan be quashed as the charges against him are based on misinterpretation of his statements.
“Today, if he says something against the growing extremism and communalism in the country, then it should be taken as his love for the people and the nation and as part of his ongoing fight against extremism and radicalism,” Mr Hussaini said.
He praised the efforts of Dr Khan as Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission in solving the problems of the minorities in the country.
“The timely actions by Dr Khan have increased the confidence of Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and all the other minorities of Delhi on the Minorities Commission. He has written extensively against extremism and religious violence all over the world. He has been very critical of ISIS and other radical organisations through his statements and analytical articles and has played an important role in the fight against extremism,” Mr Hussaini further elaborated.
Dr Khan has said that registration of FIR against him could not deter him from fighting against the politics of hate in the country.
He further added that he stood by his “views and convictions” and “will continue, now and in future, the fight against hate politics in the country”.