The Uttar Pradesh Police on Sunday night detained former Indian Police Service officer Abdur Rahman, before he could address anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors at Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, PTI reported on Monday. The police, after detaining Rahman, a former Maharashtra special inspector general of police at the Lodha Police Station in Aligarh, brought him back to New Delhi.
Rahman had quit the police force in December in an act of “civil disobedience” against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (now Act) while it was still being debated in Parliament. Announcing his resignation, Rahman had said the amendments were “against the basic feature of the Constitution”.
The changes in the 1955 law were approved on December 11, and it was notified on January 10. The Citizenship Amendment Act provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The government’s critics fear that the amended law and the proposed National Register of Citizens would be misused to harass and disenfranchise Muslims.
The former police officer told reporters on Sunday that the police served him a written notice, as they were apprehensive that his presence at the university could lead to a law-and-order problem. Rahman decided to follow the police’s instructions but added he “would come back” again when permission is granted.
AMU Coordination Committee member Faizul Hassan told The Times of India that the local administration wants to stop the movement against the citizenship law by not allowing outsiders to visit the campus to express solidarity. “This government doesn’t want anyone to express their opinion about CAA on the campus,” he added, pointing out that former Union minister Yashwant Sinha and former Indian Administrative Service officer Kannan Gopinathan had also been stopped from visiting Aligarh Muslim University.