Well-known human rights organisation Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD) has taken strong exception to a special branch officer and a cop reaching its office in Nizamuddin West in Delhi, even as its brainstorming session about to start to "discuss" the possibility of doing grassroots work for spreading ideas of peace and harmony.
While the cop went away after taking photographs, the special branch officer sat through the meeting. Wondered Shabnam Hashmi of ANHAD, "Is talking about peace, communal harmony, bringing communities together, fighting hatred and spreading the vision of an equal and just society a crime in #NewIndia?"
Hashmi said, "There are groups openly giving weapon training , lynch mobs killing innocent people in the name of cow and child lifting and the special branch is busy doing surveillance of groups, who are trying to bring back some sanity to society?"
"The meeting was in our office, not in a public place. ANHAD is neither Jantar Manter, nor Constitution Club, where special branch is always present. We take strong objection to this surveillance , which is worse than the surveillance faced by various activists and members of civil society during the emergency", she added.
The statement, which has been forwarded to Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Union home secretary, demands "an apology from the Home Ministry under whom the police, special branch, crime branch departments work", even as Insisting, "We want an assurance that this won't be repeated again."