Hyderabad Muslim Women’s Forum condemns “misogynistic trolling of women activists on social media”

TCN News

 Hyderabad Muslim Women’s Forum is one of the latest civil society organizations to strongly condemn arrests of women activists who participated in anti-CAA protests – Gulfisha, Safoora Zargar and Ishrat Jahan.

Support TwoCircles

The forum, consisting of prominent faces that initiated, coordinated and led anti-CAA marches in the Telangana state, has called out to the government’s “attempt to intimidate through incarceration and false cases” stating that these are “more shameful if not downright criminal, given the prevailing global health crisis when physical distancing is a matter of utmost priority and overcrowding of prisons a worldwide issue.”

Khalida Parveen who has been instrumental in leading women’s protests across the country against CAA, NRC and NPR is a well-known figure in the Hyderabad Women’s Forum. Others include academics, counsellors, journalists, lawyers and social activists like Kaneez Fathima, Sabah Quadri, Ayesha Faruqi, Noorjahan Siddiqui, Mandakini, Nikhat Fatima, Sana Wahab, Sharifa Siddiqui and several more. SAFA and Help Hyderabad are a few non-governmental organizations that have joined the fight against the government’s targeting of Muslim activists.

The forum has spoken in favour of protests, highlighting that all the three women who are detained have been “protesting peacefully and democratically against the CAA, NRC, NPR” and the group denounces such tactics of the authorities to direct similar charges against other activists, students and organizations. The group has refuted claims of involvement of any of the three in the Delhi violence using available evidence and has outlined their ill-treatment in detention. Accordingly, Ishrat Jahan who is a former Municipal Councilor and active participant in anti-CAA protests in East Delhi’s Khureji area is being tortured in jail. Gulfisha, a student leader in the anti-CAA protests at Seelampur, is falsely charged with sedition while Safoora Zargar, now in the second trimester of her pregnancy, has been wrongfully accused of being a key conspirator of the Delhi violence.

The Muslim women’s coalition is one of the leading voices that has also spoken against “the misogynistic trolling on social media about Safoora’s personal life, her marital status and pregnancy,” stating all of this as “utterly reprehensible and outside all bounds of common decency.” As women rights activists, the forum has endorsed their support for the immediate release of Gulfisha, Safoora and Ishrat on the grounds that it is “illegal to deny these three women activists access to lawyers and visits by families” and absolutely wrong to arrest them “during the time when the courts are functioning at their lowest capacity and least regularity and the arrested cannot access legal remedies.” It has further highlighted that “the authorities are using false narratives to link the anti-CAA protests with the violence in Delhi in March 2020 to charge these women as key conspirators of the violence” when “the actual instigators continue to enjoy impunity and remain free.”

“These arrests are undue and authoritarian use of power,” states the Hyderabad Women’s Forum, indicating that the timeliness of such activities “connotes the vengeful and petty attitude of the government and the authorities who are intended to simply harass the women.” Expressing serious concerns over such “anti-democratic curbs on the rights and civil liberties of these activists,” the forum has alleged that the government is actually placing risks of health and safety by making such arrests at a time when the country is fighting COVID19.

Demanding the “unconditional and immediate release of Gulfisha, Safoora and Ishrat” and dropping of false charges against the three female activists, the Hyderabad Muslim Women Forum has urged the government “to halt all such malicious attacks, detentions and arrests of students, activists and organizations.”