Around 1100 activists from across different states of India have issued a group statement condemning the arrest of women and Muslims in Delhi who were representing themselves and their groups and were at the forefront of the protests the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) at Delhi.
Their joint complaint issued was mainly to book the actual culprits behind the violence and to seek protection against the innocent citizens who were raising their democratic voice or belonged to a community.
The arrest of the fellow protestors was amid lockdown and that’s the prime reason why the activists are demanding that the Delhi Police provide details of the FIRs registered against the protestors.
They also sought details of the arrest further and demanded the police to publicly make available the said documents such that the public at large can also conduct a free and fair investigation into the matter.
Further, the activists in their official complaint also reiterated the fact that the false cases against the anti-CAA protestors should be dropped and those arrested without any grounds or on trumped-up-charges should be immediately released.
The said group of activists includes renowned names from various social fraternities, organizations, and feminist groups. The signatories of the statement include film director Aparna Sen, social activists Medha Patkar, Teesta Setalvad, Aruna Roy, and Dipa Sinha, authors Gita Hariharan and Meena Kandasamy, and eminent lawyers like Anubha Rastogi and Vasudha Nagraj.
Feminists groups who joined in the protest and were signatories to the statement include - Saheli, All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), National Federation of Indian Women, Forum Against Oppression of Women (FAOW) and LABIA – A Queer Feminist LBT Collective.
The statement by the activists read and demanded action against the illegal arrests and detention and also commended for action to be taken against the actual instigators and perpetrators of communal violence.
One of the activists stated that the likes of Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma, and others who are the real culprits of the violence in Delhi and the ones who perpetuated and sparked the violence should be arrested. One such culprit known by the name of Kapil Mishra was accused of delivering hate speeches and spreading hatred and instigating the Delhi riots in February during the anti-CAA protests.
Further, the statement of the activists highlighted the cases of the three Muslim women who were at the forefront of the protests. They claimed that these women were not involved in any form of violence and should not be illegally arrested or detained contrary to the Delhi Police’s charges.
Another such incident took place when Gulfisha, a 25-year-old MBA student was arrested on 9th April for the mere reason that she took part in the Seelampur anti-CAA protests. The statement stated that Gulfisha was languishing in judicial custody without access to her family and her lawyer under the false charges of sedition. She had been named in an FIR in February and is part of the Pinjra Tod, a collective of women students and alumni of colleges across Delhi.
The statement also reinstated the case of a 30-year-old from Safoora Zargar, a member of the Jamia Coordination Committee, was arrested for being the key conspirator of violence and Zargar is three months pregnant. The third case was of Ishrat Jahan who was a former municipal councilor and had been in jail for over a month now. The statement alleged that Jahan who was an active part of the protests against the CAA and also a member of the National Register of Citizens in East Delhi’s Khureji was subjected to torture in jail.
Jahan was falsely accused of attempt to murder and was also he was denied bail the collective had stated.