The Delhi Commission for Women on 6th May 2020, Wednesday, took suo moto cognizance of the online abuse which was directed towards and suffered by Safoora Zargar - a research scholar arrested for her alleged role in the Northeast Delhi riots earlier this year.
The 27-year-old who is now in her second trimester of pregnancy was arrested by Delhi Police on 10th April 2020 and charged under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act), 2019. The chairman of DCW, Swati Maliwal issued a notice to the Delhi Police (Cyber Cell) to file an FIR against the online abuse which was faced by her.
Remarks were passed on her and she was attacked for her marital status and pregnancy. People even went onto claim that she is unmarried and that her pregnancy was discovered when she was lodged in Tihar Jail. However, the truth behind these claims is little known.
Maliwal said that they have received multiple complaints with regards to the abuse against Safoora. Condemning the misogynistic comments made against the Jamia student, the DCW chairman said that while the Jamia student is facing the court of law and is currently in jail, “it does not give the right to anyone to outrage her modesty, abuse her and her family.”
Maliwal has also sought a response from the Delhi Police by 10th May 2020 regarding the details of the FIR registered in the matter of online abuse and attacks, and those accused who are identified and arrested. The DCW further asked for details of the measures taken to remove the posts outraging her modesty on social media.
Days after her arrest Jamia Millia Islamia student Safoora Zargar was subjected to a slander campaign on different social media outlets, to which the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) issued a notice to the cyber cell of the Delhi Police asking for action against the said trolls.
Issued on Wednesday (6th May 2020), the notice says a “vilification campaign is being run against her and her unborn child on social media and misogynistic comments are being made”.
It further reads, “The case against her is sub-judice and the law shall take its own course. However, the same does not give anyone the right to outrage her modesty and abuse her and her family…Several comments outraging her dignity and threatening her family have also been made.”
Commenting on the matter, Zargar’s sister Sameeya said that her family was “appalled and distraught” by the comments being made.
A high-powered committee of the Delhi High Court noted on Tuesday that Zargar, along with two other pregnant prisoners, was being provided adequate medical care and a “special diet”.
During the meeting, the Delhi State Legal Services Authority member secretary also referred to a representation sent to him by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative Chairperson Wajahat Habibullah on the healthcare needs of Zargar and other pregnant prisoners.