Delhi riots: 40 organisations demand release of Gulfisha Fatima booked under UAPA

The statement was signed by representative from various organisations including Forum Against Oppression of Women, All India Democratic Women’s Association, Youth for Unity

Gulfisha Fatima  (Photo courtesy: Twitter)
Gulfisha Fatima (Photo courtesy: Twitter)
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PTI

Over 40 organisations, including NGOs, have demanded the release of 27-year-old student Gulfisha Fatima who has been booked under the stringent UAPA for her alleged involvement in the riots in northeast Delhi and lodged in Tihar jail.

Faitma was arrested on April 9, during the first phase of the nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus infection.

"She has been falsely charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for daring to defend the Constitution and for peacefully resisting the anti-people CAA-NRC-NPR," alleged a statement signed by over 200 activists and lawyers.

"She was reportedly mentally tortured while in police custody. To add to that, her bail applications have been repeatedly rejected by the courts on technicalities," it alleged.

They also demanded that the state immediately drop, what they claim, all "false" charges against Fatima.

The statement added that the activists and lawyers stand by all other young activists, students and other leaders, including Safoora Zargar, Ishrat Jahan, Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal, Meeran Haider, Sharjeel Imam, Sharjeel Usmani, Khalid Saifi, Akhil Gogoi, Dhairjya Konwar, Bittu Sonowal, Manash Konwar, who were arrested during the anti-CAA protests.

The statement was signed by representative from various organisations including Forum Against Oppression of Women, All India Democratic Women's Association, Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action and Forum for Justice and Peace.

Fatima, an MBA student and anti-CAA activist associated with women's collective Pinjra Tod, was given bail by a Delhi court on May 13 in a case related to communal violence during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in northeast Delhi in February.

She was arrested for allegedly instigating a crowd of protestors that led to riots in the area. According to the FIR, she, along with others, allegedly instigated a crowd to block the road near Jaffrabad metro station on February 22 to protest against the CAA and National Register for Citizens (NRC).

Fatima was also arrested in a separate case related to northeast Delhi violence in which JCC member Meeran Haider, Zargar and suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain have been booked under the UAPA.

In February, the northeastern parts of the national capital was rocked by communal riots that erupted over protests against the amended Citizenship Law. The violence claimed at least 53 lives and injured many.

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