The protest was organised in the backdrop of the deliberate delay in hearings, repeated denial of bail and the continuing incarceration of Comrade Hem in the Nagpur Central jail by the Maharasthra police on baseless charges. It has now been over two years that Com. Hem has been languishing in jail without any evidence against him, which makes a mockery of the claim that in our country ‘bail is the rule and jail an exception’. The students, under the banner of the Defence Committee for the Release of Comrade Hem and all other political prisoners, demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Com. Hem, scrapping of false charges against him, scrapping the draconian UAPA and a stop to the fascist witch-hunt of intellectuals, activists, students, cultural artists, etc.
But exemplfying the lack of tolerance that our state has towards voices of dissent, even this protest was met with the wrath of the police as they bundled the protestors into police buses and detained all of them. This was depite the protest being declared well in advance and permission taken from the concerned police station. But despite doing all the necessary procedures, the Delhi police barged into a peaceful protest and used force to break the protest, pick up all the protestors, manhandled, beat up and threatened protestors with dire consequences.
All the protestors were detained at Tilak Marg police for around 4 hours. We were not even allowed to submit our Memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister. What happened over the course of the protest reflected once again the vulgar fascist character of the state that is intolerant towards even a shred of dissent or any protesting voice that stands in defence of our democratic rights. The protest meeting that continued inside the Tilak Marg police station strongly condemned the high handedness of the Delhi police and asserted that our collective protest shall continue till Hem and all other political prisoners are unconditionally released.