NEW DELHI: Eminent personalities on Friday condemned the manner in which a young professional Omar Farooque, who sent hate mail to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, was arrested in the capital and detained by the police. However, they expressed relief that Mr. Farooque had now been released.
In a statement here, they said: "The police version of the release, as reported by the media, that Omar had realised his mistake and a large hearted Modi had pardoned him is obnoxious and unacceptable".
Among the signatories to the statement were Professor Purushottam Agrawal of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, economist Jean Dreze, Professor Uma Chakravarti, Arunima Gopinath, Professor Ajay Tiwari, Professor Alok Rai of Delhi University, theatre persons Jamal Kidwai and Heeren Gandhi, educationists Gurveen Kaur and Shalini Advani, social activists Farah Naqvi, Aditya Nigam, Harsh Mander, Kavita Srivastava and Anil Chaudhry.
They said: "We find it absolutely unacceptable that Gujarat police can come to Delhi, knock at our door, and pick up anybody without a proper arrest warrant. What is even more bewildering is that Delhi police allows this to happen and shows complete helplessness … It is a clear case of violation of the citizen’s fundamental right to freedom."
The statement said that it was Mr. Modi’s government that had sent an "absolutely unwelcome invitation from Narendra Modi’s e-mail id" asking Mr. Farooque to attend the annual kite festival in Gujarat.