A student. A food seller. A creative producer. A scientist. All they have in common is that they took part in the Citizenship Act protests last winter. Months later, the Delhi Police called them in for questioning in its controversial riots case, which blames the communal violence that took place in India’s capital in February on a conspiracy by Citizenship Act protestors to overthrow the Narendra Modi government. Over 70 protestors have been interrogated in the case. Below is an account by one of them.
Read more about the case which has been described as a witchhunt against protestors here. Read more accounts of those who have been questioned in the case here.
December 2019 was a difficult month, the young creative entrepreneur recalled. The city he had grown up in was beset by protests. He wanted to go attend them. Not that he had a history of formal activism – “only active and vocal as an individual” – but he was just aghast at this new law that “clearly differentiated on the basis of religion”.
But he was stuck at a place far away from Delhi. What could he really do? Use the internet, of course. He started collecting “pictures of protests and police brutality from all over the country” and started sharing them on his Instagram.
“Whatever little you can do or say as an individual” to oppose injustice, he explained.
Then as the protests spread out to other parts of the country – except the North East where they had begun much before Delhi – he also started putting out protest calendars. “From the middle of December to end of January, I used to post a protest schedule everyday…of where the protests were nationwide,” he recalled.
It was largely crowdsourced information. “I would scan online, look for