A signature campaign speaking for the release of political prisoners including 27 years old Gulfisha Fatima, a community educator from Seelampur in North-East Delhi, has popped up on social media. Today marks 100 days of her arrest by Delhi Police under the draconian UAPA law for daring to defend the Constitution, and for peacefully resisting the anti-people CAA-NRC-NPR.
Here are five components of the story:
- The country is witness to a one-sided ‘investigation’ into the targeted violence unleashed in North-East Delhi in late February 2020, by the Delhi Police and the Home Ministry. The government seems to be using this pandemic as a convenient excuse to criminalise, interrogate and imprison peaceful anti CAA-NRC-NPR protesters, students and democratic activists, of which, many are Muslims.
- This spate of arrests has sparked massive outrage from democratic voices across the country and the world, including the United Nations which has expressed grave concern at this ruthless stifling of ‘dissent’.
- Gulfisha was arrested on 9th April 2020, in the initial phases of the lockdown, when the government imposed a thick curtain on information flow around detentions and arrests.
- Reportedly, she was mentally tortured during police custody and her bail applications have been repeatedly rejected by the Courts on technicalities. At a time when de-congestion of jails is a world-wide demand, Gulfisha has been languishing in jail for 100 days now.
- Gulfisha is an inheritor of the legacy of legendary Savitribai Phule and Fatima Sheikh, who braved all odds to make education and emancipation for all girls and women a reality. She kept engaging at the local protest site, ran classes, educated children and women from the community and empowered them with a vision of emancipation.