Drop ‘False Cases’ Against Women CAA Protesters, Demand Feminists
The statement demands action against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra, and Pravesh Verma.
Around 1,100 feminists from all over India issued a solidarity statement on Sunday, 3 May, condemning what they called was the targeted crackdown on Muslims and women activists in Delhi, who were at the forefront of the peaceful protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act earlier this year.
The signatories including well-known women rights activists like Medha Patkar, Farah Naqvi, Aruna Roy, Shabnam Hashmi, Kavita Krishnan, and other academics, alleged that the Delhi Police, at the behest of the Union Home Ministry is brazenly rounding up people amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
The statement denounces what it alleges are false narratives that are trying to link anti-CAA protests with the violence in Delhi, while demanding action against actual instigators and perpetrators of communal violence, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra, and Pravesh Verma.
The statement also seeks full disclosure of arrests and detentions from the Delhi Police, withdrawal of false cases, and immediate release of all the prisoners.
‘Women Not Involved in Violence’
While condemning all “false cases, arbitrary arrests, detentions and interrogations, as well as UAPA and sedition charges,” the statement highlights the cases of three Muslim young women who were at the forefront of peaceful democratic protests. The statement asserts that these women were not involved in violence, as opposed to what the Delhi Police is alleging. The following portion has been reproduced verbatim from the statement.
- GULFISHA, 25, a young muslim woman who emerged a leader in the Seelampur anti-CAA protest. An MBA student, Gulfisha has reportedly been arrested by the police on 9th April, but until this day, the details remain blurry. She has been languishing in judicial custody under false charges of sedition, without proper access to her family or lawyer.
- SAFOORA ZARGAR, 30, member of the Jamia Coordination Committee who has been arrested despite being three months’ pregnant, at a time when overcrowding in prisons and have become a huge concern worldwide.
- ISHRAT JAHAN, Former Municipal Councillor, active in the Khureji protest has been in jail for over a month now, and been subjected to custodial torture. Her co-accused, Khalid Saifi emerged from police custody with both his legs as well as two fingers broken—indicating brutal torture.
The signatories said they salute the spirit of thousands of women who were part of the 200+ Shaheen Baghs across the country, who despite numerous attacks and negative propaganda, held high the flag of upholding constitutional values and communal harmony.
- Delhi Police must immediately make public all FIRs, arrests and detentions with their legal status and conduct a free and fair investigation into all the incidents of violence.
- False cases against peaceful anti-CAA protesters must be dropped, and all those arrested on trumped-up charges must be released immediately.
- Real culprits of the violence in Delhi must be booked, including the likes of Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma and others who instigated hate, sparked and perpetuated the violence.
- Detentions, intimidation & harassment of those who assert the democratic right to protest must stop.
- Prisons must be de-congested as per orders of the Apex Court and all political prisoners released.
- UAPA and the Sedition law must be repealed.
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