"I Never Instigated Violence": Detained Hyderabad Journalist Who Covered Anti-CAA Protest
Hyderabad Police, along with other Anti-CAA protesters, detained Mubashir Khurram, a journalist working with The Siasat Daily, for 15 hours on February 8. The journalist alleged that he was not part of the protests and was there to cover it.
The flash protest took place in Mallepally near Rayan Hotel.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, Mubashir says, "Initially, I was not going to cover the protests since it has become the common norm. However, when our photographer informed us that a huge crowd had gathered and heavy forces were moved, I decided to go to the venue."
Ten minutes after he reached the protest site, the Task Force whisked him away with other protesters although he was only covering the protests.
At around 10:30 pm on Saturday, he was taken to the Task Force office where he was asked to spend the night. He was told that the DCP will meet him in the morning, following which he will be released.
"I showed them my press card, but they ignored it and accused me of protesting. They did not even allow me to contact my advocate," says Mubashir.
After repeated assertion by Mubashir that he was not part of the protests and was there just to cover it, one of the unidentified task force officers claimed that Mubashir was the "brainchild" behind Saturday's flash protest.
Another officer asked him the reason behind protesting and told him that he has 50-plus countries to go to.
"I was furious at the officer's remark and told him that I will only talk to seniors from now on," says Mubashir.
Mubashir is a neuro patient and is under medication.
"After requesting them indefinite times, they finally bought me medicine," Mubashir recalls.
The next morning, DCP Radha Krishna asked Mubashir why there was a protest when the CAA had been passed by the Centre.
Mubasir alleged that the DCP asked him why he was at the protest site.
"I am a journalist. It is my duty to cover what is happening. I never instigated violence," Mubasir says.
The DCP further asked him why he participated in earlier protests against the contentious law. "Can journalists not protest?" Mubashir questions.
The DCP alleged that Mubashir was using Twitter to incite people from the site of the protests.
"The DCP asked me to be a journalist and not become an activist," Mubashir says
Mubasir alleged that the DCP accused him of accompanying Bhim army chief Chandrasekhar Azad. The Dalit leader was detained by the cops before he was set to address a protest organised by students.
"He asked me to report any such protest before going there to cover. This is ethically wrong for a journalist," Mubashir says.
He was let go at around 1:30 pm on Sunday (February 9).
After 15 hours of illegal detention back to work with new enthusiasm. Thanks to all my dear colleagues & friends who tried their best to make it possible with in 24 hours. Spl thanks to @journalistamer @zaheer_siasat @syedmohammedd @NaseerGiyas & @Bilaljourno pic.twitter.com/KMvpFgNUk1— Mubashir.Khurram (@infomubashir) February 9, 2020
Ever since the parliament passed the CAA on December 11, the country has been roiled with protests demanding a complete rollback of the act. The Act fastracks granting citizenship to Non-Muslim persecuted minorities who have arrived in India before December 31, 2014. As of now, more than 20 people have lost their lives due to the protests.