Safoora, Zargar, 27, a student of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Dehli, and member of Jamia Coordination Committee has been charged under the stringent anti-terror law, UAPA, 2019 by the Delhi Police. She had been booked in a case related to the communal violence in Delhi over the citizenship amendment act. She, along with Umar Khalid and Meeran Haider was arrested for allegedly instigating the crowd, in the FIR Delhi Police called the violence a “premeditated conspiracy” hatched by the trio.
Police has accused Zargar of inciting the communal violence in Delhi which resulted in destruction, bloodshed, and rioting in North-East Delhi. More than fifty people were killed and about 200 were seriously injured, making it the deadliest communal riots since 1950. She has been charged with as many as 18 crimes including rioting, possession of arms, attempt to murder, incitement of violence, sedition, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion.
Safoora is in the trimester of her pregnancy and has been sent to jail on the first day of the Muslim holy month, Ramadan.
Jail authorities, however, have said that she’s been lodged in a separate cell in Delhi’s Tihar jail. She’s in a woman only jail and is kept separately, said a jail official. Since she’s pregnant, a doctor is also present for her supervision according to the authorities.
The arresting of student activists is widely being condemned by almost all student organizations. All India Students Association (AISA) has called for the scrapping of the act. Dissent is not unlawful to read a post on the organization’s official page.
President of the Students Islamic Organization (SIO), Labeed Shafi also vouched for repealing UAPA. He called it a draconian law.
Muslim Students of Delhi, in their official statement, said Safoora had been active in relief work during the pandemic and called for her urgent release.
Kavita Krishan, while condemning the arrests called the situation worse than an emergency. “Instead of prioritizing the fight against Covid-19, the government is trying to rack down on political dissenters”, Kavita said.
Dr. SQR Ilyas, National President of Welfare Party of India, also criticised Delhi Police for ‘witch-hunting’ and harassing the anti-CAA, NRC protesters.
Safoora was earlier arrested on April 13 in relevance with the protests against the CAA. Many have called these attempts to silence Muslim Activists, some have linked it to her Kashmiri identity.
In a recent development, Shifa-ur-Rahman, president of the Jamia Alumni Association has also been arrested on Monday in relevance with the anti-CAA protests and the communal violence.
Many have seen the move as an attempt to criminalize anti-CAA protesters.
“Why are anti-CAA protestors being criminalized; protest is not a crime”, wrote a popular student activist.