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Social activists and journalists Monday sat on protest at India Gate here and organised a candle light vigil demanding the release of journalist Syed Mohammad Kazmi arrested for the Israeli embassy car blast last month.

The procession of about nearly 500 people was led by Kazmi’s wife Jahanara who claimed that her husband “is innocent and should be released immediately”.

The protesters claimed that Kazmi, 52, was implicated and shouted anti-US and anti-Israel slogans.

Activist Shabnam Hashmi said that police “fabricated the entire story” and called for immediate dissolution of Delhi Police’s anti-terror unit Special Cell.

“A group of journalists and activists, met the chief minister (Sheila Dikshit) and spoke to her on the issue. She told us that she will be meeting home minister (P. Chidambaram) and discussing the matter with him,” Hashmi added.

The protest was also attended by several Muslim religious leaders which, Hashmi claimed, was against the spirit of the protest as it was a secular protest and they had came without invitation.

Her sentiments were echoed by senior journalist Syed Naqvi, who claimed that this could “politicise what is a people’s protest”.

Kazmi was arrested by police last week. An Israeli diplomat’s wife was injured in the blast in the Israeli embassy’s car Feb 13 in central Delhi.

The journalist, who hails from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, is a resident of south Delhi’s B.K. Dutt colony near Jor Bagh.

A post-graduate in Persian from Delhi University, Kazmi has worked as a freelance journalist with Doordarshan News. He has also worked as a news reader for a Tehran-based radio station and was recently working as a freelancer for Iranian news agency IRNA.



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