Harassed, Threatened by ABVP for Being a Muslim Woman: JU Student 

Afreen said that the harassment started soon after she uploaded images of the ransacked JU students’ union room. 

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Babul Supriyo heckled by students at Jadavpur University in Kolkata on 19 Sepember. 
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A post-graduate student at Jadavpur University in Kolkata was subject to harassment and trolling on social media after her Facebook display picture was falsely circulated as that of a female student confronting Union Minister Babul Supriyo on campus.

An image of Supriyo, allegedly manhandling a female student during Thursday’s showdown at the university, was shared widely on social media throughout Friday and Saturday.

The student in the image was misidentified as Shilpi Afreen along with posts claiming she was ‘sexually frustrated’ and ‘she had other plans’ with the minister.

The Quint reached out to Afreen, who confirmed that the woman in the image was not her: “My Facebook pictures are being circulated along with the image of Babul Supriyo and another woman.”

The 23-year-old student, who is a member of the Arts Faculty Students Union (AFSU), said that she started receiving ‘filthy comments’ after she uploaded images of a ransacked students’ union room.

“I had uploaded pictures of the ransacked union room on 19 September. Soon after, filthy comments flooded the post, specifically attacking me as a woman and as a Muslim. This was clearly done to scare me.”
Shilpi Afreen, post-graduate student at Jadavpur University. 

On Thursday, Supriyo, Union Minister of State for Forests, Environment and Climate Change, had reached Jadavpur University in south Kolkata to attend a fresher’s welcome organised by ABVP, where he was stopped from entering by members of the Students Federation of India (SFI).

Photos from the 19 September event juxtaposed against Afreen’s profile.
Photos from the 19 September event juxtaposed against Afreen’s profile.
(Photo courtesy: Facebook screenshots)

Targeted For My Religion

Shilpi told The Quint that she was forced to delete her Facebook account following the barrage of comments and posts and has also filed an official complaint with the police.

She said that a consistent pattern of the derogatory posts was the highlighting of her religion. “The fact that they kept bringing up my religion makes it clear that they want to create communal unrest on Jadavpur campus,” she said.

Asked if she could identify those posting on Facebook as students of the university, Shirin said, “They do not seem to be from JU but their profiles are all pro-ABVP and BJP.”

A common feature of several posts falsely identifying the woman as Afreen is that the URL of her Facebook profile was also pasted in the posts.

“This incident has scared not just me but also my parents and family members. Some of them even threatened to enter my house.”
Shilpi Afreen to The Quint

‘Her Intention With Babul Da Was Something Else’: Facebook Post

Harassed, Threatened by ABVP for Being a Muslim Woman: JU Student 
(Photo: Facebook screenshot)

A post on Facebook on Friday by a user called Abhijit Deb contained eight images, including the one of Babul Supriyo face-to-face with a female protester. The other four images used in the post are those of Afreen taken from her Facebook profile.

The caption shared with the post in Bangla reads: “Can you recognise her? She had moved towards Babul da, her intentions were something else.”

The post was shared 82 times and elicited 228 reactions.

Another Facebook post, now deleted, referred to her as a ‘sexually frustrated woman’. The post read: “Are these women sexually frustrated?! They are deliberately ripping apart his shirt and are trying to press against his chest so they can cry molestation.”

Another post on a community page called ‘Jamuroya Yuva Morcha Grameen 1’, which has 2,876 followers, put up the same Facebook image of her alongside the one of Babul with the caption:

“Shilpi Afreen you are blot on women. Your comrades should have arranged for a stretcher for you.” 
Harassed, Threatened by ABVP for Being a Muslim Woman: JU Student 
(Photo: Facebook screenshot)

The Quint has reached out to Supriyo and will update the story with the response.

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