Skip to main content

Attempt to implicate Mahila Ekta Yatra in Delhi riots 'malicious': Judicial probe sought

Counterview Desk

More than a dozen women’s rights leaders*, commenting on the chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police in FIR No 59/2020, which assigns blame for the communal violence in North-East Delhi in February 2020 to not just protestors, activists and students, but also participants in a women’s rally in which they provided leadership, have demanded independent judicial inquiry into the manner in which the investigation is being carried out.
Insisting that “judicial oversight is required to prevent malicious prosecution”, these women’s leaders, belonging different civil rights groups, participated in Mahila Ekta Yatra, visiting some sites of protest against the Constitutional Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) on February 14, 15 and 16, 2020.
Regretting that the chargesheet, filed in September 2020, also mentions Mahila Ekta Yatra, the leaders said, “As organisers and participants of the Mahila Ekta Yatra, we know that the allegations and insinuations against us are completely false and fabricated” and are part of a “persistent effort to suppress legitimate, peaceful expression of political opinion and opposition by criminalising it through perverse re-scripting of the truth and facts.”
“We shall not be intimidated. We shall not be silenced”, they underlined in a statement.

Text:

The women-led peaceful protests against the CAA, NRC and NPR became a powerful symbol of democratic resistance, inspiring solidarity from across the globe. Women, especially from the Muslim community, expressed their firm opposition to laws and policies that have differential impact and consequences on citizenship of different religious communities and vulnerable groups. To express this view point 24*7, peaceful sit-in protests were held in Delhi and many parts of the country.
To express solidarity with the women who were upholding the spirit and values of the Indian Constitution, the Mahila Ekta Yatra, comprising women from diverse backgrounds and faiths, visited some sites of protest against CAA/NRC/NPR on February 14, 15 and 16, 2020.
At the protest sites, we reaffirmed our commitment to a secular and inclusive India. To safeguard these values, we opposed the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposal to create a National Register of Citizens (NRC) through a National Population Register (NPR).
These measures would disproportionately impact the poorest and vulnerable groups, including migrant labour, homeless, small farmers, adivasis, indigenous communities, Muslim community, Dalit Bahujan masses, women and transgender persons, who would not be able to furnish the necessary documents to prove citizenship as required by the proposed CAA/NRC/NPR combine.
At the protests sites we spoke about women's rights and other democratic rights, including the right to education, food security, social security and the right to information. We collectively read the Preamble of the Constitution and sang songs of peace and harmony.
The chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police in FIR No 59/2020, assigns blame for the communal violence in North-East Delhi in February 2020 to protestors, activists and students who were peacefully opposing the CAA/NRC/NPR. The chargesheet, filed in September 2020, also mentions the Mahila Ekta Yatra.
The chargesheet invokes UAPA to intimidate and silence dissenting voices and curtail personal liberty through long periods of incarceration
As organisers and participants of the Mahila Ekta Yatra, we know that the allegations and insinuations against us are completely false and fabricated. They are part of a persistent effort to suppress legitimate, peaceful expression of political opinion and opposition by criminalising it through perverse re-scripting of the truth and facts. The chargesheet invokes the draconian UAPA to intimidate and silence dissenting voices and curtail personal liberty through long periods of incarceration.
In our work and our struggles, we, as part of the women's movements, have consistently opposed all forms of inequality, injustice and discrimination. The various struggles for human rights and justice we have been associated with, have one thread in common – a deep commitment to constitutional values and principles.
We shall not be intimidated. We shall not be silenced.
Fifty three persons were killed in the communal violence in Delhi. Unfortunately the Delhi Police, which functions under the Ministry of Home Affairs, has taken no action against persons who made incendiary speeches and called for violence. Recent developments have made it clear that an independent judicial inquiry needs to be conducted into the manner of investigation by the Delhi Police. Judicial oversight is required to prevent malicious prosecution.
We, the participants of the Mahila Ekta Yatra, demand that all steps be taken to ensure that real perpetrators of the Delhi violence are brought to book and the persecution of peaceful dissenters is immediately stopped.
---
*Annie Raja, Anjali Bhardwaj, Dipa Sinha, Shabnam Hashmi, Kamla Bhasin, Navsharan Singh, Vani Subramanian, Poonam Kaushik, Maimoona Mollah, Amrita Johri, Philomina John, Suroor Mander, Aditi, Radha, Suneeta Dhar, Priya Pillai (on behalf of the Mahila Ekta Yatra)

Comments

TRENDING

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Gujarat religious freedom amendment bill 'pursues' votebank politics, is anti-minority

Gujarat home minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja  By Our Representative  A Gujarat-based minority rights organisation, taking strong exception to the state assembly last week passing the Gujarat Religious Freedom (Amendment) Bill, 2021, has asserted that the proposed law “is completely unconstitutional”, even as asking the Gujarat governor to give his accent to it.