1100 feminists write to PM against targeting of anti-CAA women protesters

Eminent women intellectuals denounce false narratives that try to link anti-CAA protests with the violence in Delhi, demand an immediate stop to targeting of Muslim women activists

Delhi PoliceImage Courtesy:theprint.in

Some of the most respected feminist intellectuals across India have come together to demand justice for women activists who have been targeted for protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). They released a statement of condemnation against the targeting of the activists as well as the wider move to spin a false narrative that links the anti-CAA protests with the violence in Delhi.

The statement has been endorsed by several prominent women activists and intellectuals including Annie Raja, Medha Patkar, Farah Naqvi, Aruna Roy, Teesta Setalvad, Aparna Sen, Shabnam Hashmi, Lalita Ramdas, Maimoona Moolah, Ruth Manorama, Soni Sori, Hasina Khan, Jagmati Sangwan, Mariam Dhawale, Sadaf Jafar, Sabika Abbas Naqvi, Anjali Bharadwaj, Kamla Bhasin, Gabriele Dietrich, Jayati Ghosh, Meena Kandasamy, Gita Hariharan, and many others.

The statement says, “We, the undersigned, strongly condemn the brazenly malicious attacks, arrests and intimidation by the Delhi Police of Muslim women, students and activists, as well as other citizens who have spoken up against the unconstitutional moves of the present ruling dispensation.”

It adds, “As feminists we decry this systematic crackdown on, and mis-representation of, the peaceful and constitutional anti-CAA-NRC-NPR movement. Led so powerfully by Muslim women across the country, these protests witnessed a new wave of women stepping out in their own neighbourhoods in huge numbers, defying social structures and asserting their rights as citizens of a secular, democratic republic—one of the most historic moments and movements, since independence.”

Siting the significance of the movement the statement says, “We must remember that inspired by Shaheen Bagh, sit-in protests led by Muslim women were held in 200+ locations across the country. Holding up images of Savitri Bai, Fatima Sheikh, Babasaheb Ambedkar, painting protest graffiti and reading the Preamble, reciting poetry and slogans upholding constitutional values and communal harmony, this was a tremendously powerful assertion of rights and resistance, of historically marginalized women creating the possibility of a new nation of emancipation, justice, equality and dignity.” It adds, “The government, unwilling to dialogue with the women, chose the masculinist response of trying to crush them. Its message is clear—those who dare challenge its fascist, patriarchal, communal, classist and casteist nature will be meted the harshest State sanctions.”

The statement names Gulfisha, Safoora Zargar and Ishrat Jahan as the women who were at the forefront of the peaceful protests but are now paying a price for exercising their democratic rights. They also mention others scholars and student activists arrested and slapped with draconian charges and sent to judicial custody such as Meeran Haider (President, RJD Youth Wing, Delhi), Sharjeel Imam (JNU scholar) and Shifa-Ur-Rehman (President, Jamia Alumni Association). Dr Umar Khalid has also been slapped with charges under UAPA and is under investigation.

The statement ends with the following list of demands:

•             Delhi Police must immediately make public all FIRs, arrests and detentions with their legal status and conduct a free and fair investigation into all the incidents of violence.

•             False cases against peaceful anti-CAA protesters must be dropped, and all those arrested on trumped-up charges must be released immediately.

•             Real culprits of the violence in Delhi must be booked, including the likes of Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma and others who instigated hate, sparked and perpetuated the violence.

•             Detentions, intimidation & harassment of those who assert the democratic right to protest must stop.

•             Prisons must be de-congested as per orders of the Apex Court and all political prisoners released.

•             UAPA and the Sedition law must be repealed.

The entire statement may be read here:

The entire list of signatories may be viewed here:



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