On 23 December, the Uttar Pradesh police detained an advocate Mohammad Faizal, who was in Shamli to offer legal aid to the arrested protestors during anti-CAA protests in UP. The police claim that the detainee is a member of the Muslim Front of the Popular Front of India (CFI), which mostly cadres across Kerala and Karnataka.
The UP police booked the Rajasthan based 24-year-old Muslim advocate, under Sections 145 (Joining or continuing in an unlawful assembly, knowing that it has been commanded to disperse), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of an offense committed in the prosecution of common object), 153A (Promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.
As per sources, “Faizal along with three other men was involved in inciting violence and distributing objectional pamphlets. We have also recovered data from his phone as proof that he is a PFI member,” stated Dharmendra Yadav, a police officer at Shamli police station.
However, Faizal’s family members, strongly condemn the arrest stating that the police have falsely accused him of links with the militants and urged the National Human Rights Commission for their immediate intervention in the release of Faizal.
“Faizal has been in the legal profession for the past three years and continues to be a member of the National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO),” said the human rights lawyer, Ansar Indori. He further stated that Faizal went to UP only to provide legal assistance to the victims at the behest of the NCHRO.