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Father remembers son as he spends fourth Eid in jail

New Delhi, July 11 (KMS): “Missing you Umar,” wrote Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas, one of India’s leading Muslim intellectuals on Twitter a day before Eid al-Azha as his son and prominent human rights defender Umar Khalid spends another Eid in jail under draconian charges.

Qasim Rasool Ilyas tweeted: “3 consecutive Eids without Umar Khalid makes us realise the significance of the sacrifice of our beloved prophets Ibrahim and Ismail. May our sacrifices be accepted and help in making this world a better place.”

Umar Khalid, the former student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), is in jail facing draconian charges under draconian law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for making speeches during the mass protests against a controversial and anti-Muslim citizenship law.

Khalid was arrested on September 13, 2020, under the UAPA

“When my son was arrested, I knew that they weren’t going to let him out easily, when I saw the First Information Report (FIR), it had 28 sections, including UAPA and the arms act. His case was fabricated, we knew that the government wanted to take action against all those activists who protested against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). But I really didn’t know that it would take them this long,” Ilyas told Maktoob last month.

“As a mother, these two years have been really hard for me. While eating food or when the temperature is very harsh, I am often reminded of my son and how he would be dealing with things. I often go out deliberately to feel how Umar would be feeling in this harsh weather. I open my eyes in the morning with his thoughts in my mind,” Sabina Khanum, mother of the jailed activist, said to Maktoob.

“During these two years, whenever I have spoken to him, he has never complained. He just continues smiling on the video calls,” she said.

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