The Hyderabad city police on Saturday night detained Mubashir Khurram, a city-based journalist with The Siasat Daily, for over 12 hours before releasing him on Sunday afternoon. Mubashir was detained as he was covering a flash protest against the Centre's controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the city's Mallepally area.
Speaking to TNM, Mubashir said that he was informed by his photographer about a flash protest against CAA and NRC and that he was picked up along with protestors though he had gone there to cover the event.
Mubashir has actively covered several protests in Hyderabad since the Act was passed in Parliament. Mubashir said that police have alleged that flash protests were his 'brainchild'.
â€śOne unidentified Task Force officer asked why people were protesting against CAA and NRC though 'you (Muslims) have fifty-plus (50+) countries to go to?' When I said that I went there to cover the event as a journalist, one official told me that I should inform the police before going to report,â€ť he told TNM.
Mubashir further added that the police have accused him of accompanying Bhim Army Chief Chandra Shekhar Azad during his recent visit to Hyderabad.
Mubashir, along with others, has been booked by police under Sections 147 (Rioting), 341 (Wrongful restraint), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) read with 149 (Member of unlawful assembly), of the IPC, besides sections of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property,(PDPP) Act.
All those who have been booked by the Habeeb Nagar police have to present themselves in front of the authorities on February 14.
All protesters who were arrested last night for #FlashProtest at Mallepally have been released. They were slapped with sections 147, 341, 353, 188 r/w 149 Sec 3 of PDPP Act and have been asked to appear at Habeeb Nagar PS on 14th Feb.#HyderabadFlashProtest#hyderabadwillprotestâ€” Amjed Ullah Khan MBT (@amjedmbt) February 9, 2020
Several people were detained from Mallepally on Saturday night as a flash protest broke out near Rayan Hotel. Those who gathered there raised slogans against the CAA, NRC and the NPR.
Personnel from the Habeeb Nagar police station reached the spot and asked protesters to disperse. Personnel of the City Task Force and City Armed Reserve personnel were also deployed, who detained several protesters and bundled them into vehicles.
Mild tension also prevailed as protesters chased the vehicle in which the police had detained a group of people.
They were all shifted to the Goshamahal ground. Mubashir was said to be part of the group of people who were detained.
Mushtaq Malik, the convenor of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) against CAA and NRC told TNM, "On receiving information that people had been detained from Mallepally, I visited the Goshamahal stadium adjacent to the Shahinayathgunj Police Station after midnight. The police said that people had been detained and kept there for protesting without permission. A police officer told me that Mubashir was also among those detained. After an assurance that they will all be released, I left the area at around 3.30 am."
Several women including activist Khalida Parveen were also detained. Around 18 women were shifted to the office of the Central Crime Station (CCS) in the city.
â€” khalida parveen (@kparveen2005) February 8, 2020
This is not the first time that the Hyderabad police has booked protesters. While Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has spoken against the CAA, his government has been denying permission to stage protests on the issue.
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) urban governing body led by TRS party is the first one to have passed a resolution against CAA.