Safoora Zargar, the media coordinator of the Jamia Coordination Committee was arrested in April for her alleged role in the northeast Delhi’s riots in February. Later, she was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in a case related to the communal violence over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in the northeast district and sent to Tihar Jail. While the girl, 27, is in her second trimester of pregnancy, she was attacked by the online trolls for her marital status and pregnancy with alleged claims that she is unmarried and that her pregnancy was discovered when she was lodged in Tihar Jail. Safoora is an M Phil student of Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi.
Delhi Police has booked Safoora for leading a mob to Jaffarabad metro station and that she provoked a group of women to stage an anti-CAA sit-in near Jaffarabad metro station. Delhi Police sources said that Safoora was very active in the protest which took place near Jaffarabad metro station. Delhi Police has also arrested Meeran Haider, a Ph.D. student, who is the president of the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s youth wing’s Delhi unit. A joint statement by teacher’s organizations has called this a “retaliatory revengeful action against those who were active in the movement… on trumped-up charges relating to the North East Delhi riots and other baseless allegations”. Demanding immediate release of these leaders this joint statement signed by FEDKUTA, DUTA, JNUTA, and Jamia Teachers Association JTA as well as AIPWA, IPTA, Janwadi Lekhak Sangh, Jan Sanskriti Manch, etc underlined that Safoora Zargar is pregnant and requires proper care and medical supervision.
When the “Bois Locker Room’ was trending on Twitter, a certain section was busy in maligning the M Phil student. Congress Leader Salmaan Nizami dragged BJP’s Kapil Mishra into the debate for his alleged hate-mongering speeches, to which Mishra replied by asking not to link his speeches to her pregnancy. But the rock bottom of the situation was hit when she was subsequently exposed to vitriolic online trolling for her pregnancy.
- Certain Facebook and Twitter users claim that she learned about her pregnancy when she underwent a medical examination in the Tihar Jail.
- Yet others linked this to Shaheen Bagh, insinuating that this is the “truth” behind the Shaheen Bagh protests.
- Many attacked her marital status claiming that she is not married.
(Warning: The pictures below contain strong/abusive language.)
But these crude claims have been debunked with the truth that she was pregnant when Delhi Police’s special cell arrested her and several requests were made to allow her the medical facilities she needs during her detention. Her sister Sameeya Zargar has also come forward to tell that she is married. The Delhi Commission for Women has stepped in by issuing a notice to Delhi Police over trolls “slandering” Jamia Millia Islamia student Safoora Zargar. On receipt of complaints, DCW issued notice to Delhi Police Cyber Crime Cell against shameful slandering by trolls of pregnant Safoora Zargar,” the panel said. DCW chief Swati Maliwal said the court will decide whether Zargar is guilty or not “but no one has the right to outrage her modesty and vilify her character”. Terming the matter to be “serious”, the DCW asked Delhi Police to bring the perpetrators to justice. Further, the notice asked the Delhi Police to furnish the following details latest by May 10, 2020: A copy of FIR registered in the matter, details of accused identified and arrested, and measures are taken to remove the posts and comments outraging the modesty of the pregnant research scholar.
“This has a chilling effect and deters women from being active in public life. It demonstrates how difficult it is for women and particularly young, bold women from marginalized groups to participate in civic discourse,” said women’s rights activist and lawyer, Vrinda Grover, told Alt News. “It is a despicable and dastardly attempt to delegitimize her voice, the politics she espouses, and the movement that she is part of. Instead of engaging with the critical questions raised by Safoora on the unconstitutionality of CAA, she is sought to be silenced by questioning her morality” she added.
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