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Free Safoora: Indians hold car rally in Canada in solidarity with student activist

Safoora Zargar was arrested by the police under the UAPA for being part of anti-CAA protests

Sabrangindia 11 May 2020

Student ActivistImage Courtesy:theprint.in

After Jamia Millia Islamia University student Safoora Zargar was arrested by the police for her association with the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) which organized anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in December 2019 under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and slandered on social media, her arrest and character assassination, both, caused widespread outrage from national as well as international human rights organizations. While the Indian government refuses to release her on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, its supporters have been attacking and demonizing her on social media.

Zargar who is also in the second trimester of her pregnancy was allegedly put in solitary confinement in Tihar Jail even when she needed medical care. Just like Amnesty International and Front Line Defenders which condemned her arrest, the members of Indians Abroad for Pluralist India (IAPI) took out a Mother’s Day car rally for Safoora in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada on the afternoon on May 10. Amnesty International had called for an urgent action for Zargar on the occasion of Mother’s Day.

Zargar is not the first or the last person to be incarcerated under inhuman conditions for raising voices against the repression of religious minorities and orchestrated state violence. Since January 28, 2020 at least seven student activists and leaders have been arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and National Security Act (NSA) which are non-bailable.

In amity with Zargar, the members of the IAPI held a rally outside the Indian passport and visa application center to maintain physical distancing due to the restrictions put in place because of Covid-19. As the rally passed by the visa application center, participants honked driving past the building, with their cars bearing the signs ‘No CAA’ and ‘Free Safoora’.

Release

The participants also expressed solidarity with those migrant workers who passed away in a train mishap in Auranagabad, Maharashtra, after they were mowed down by a cargo train while they were sleeping on the railway line from being exhausted due to the walk to the train station to catch a special train to reach their village.

Safoora

The organization, IAPI, released a press statement about the rally, also stating that the event coincided with the anniversary of the first major uprising against the British occupation of India in 1857. The rebellion of 1857 had brought together people of different faith groups against colonialism. IAPI which was formed in response to growing attacks on minorities in India believes that this recognition is important to keep the spirit of secularism alive as the current government is bent upon turning the country into Hindu theocracy.

The leading car in the fleet carried a flag of Ghadar Party, a group of Indian revolutionaries who were influenced by the 1857 revolt. The Ghadar Party was established in US by Indian immigrants in 1913 to liberate India from British and form an egalitarian republic. Among those who participated were IAPI President Parshotam Dosanjh, prominent Punjabi poet Amrit Diwana, besides, other IAPI members Tejinder Sharma, Harbeer Rathi and Gurpreet Singh.

Safoora

Safoora

Safoora

Related:

Front Line defenders criticizes repression of dissent and arrest of student activists
1100 feminists write to PM against targeting of anti-CAA women protesters

Free Safoora: Indians hold car rally in Canada in solidarity with student activist

Safoora Zargar was arrested by the police under the UAPA for being part of anti-CAA protests

Student ActivistImage Courtesy:theprint.in

After Jamia Millia Islamia University student Safoora Zargar was arrested by the police for her association with the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) which organized anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in December 2019 under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and slandered on social media, her arrest and character assassination, both, caused widespread outrage from national as well as international human rights organizations. While the Indian government refuses to release her on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, its supporters have been attacking and demonizing her on social media.

Zargar who is also in the second trimester of her pregnancy was allegedly put in solitary confinement in Tihar Jail even when she needed medical care. Just like Amnesty International and Front Line Defenders which condemned her arrest, the members of Indians Abroad for Pluralist India (IAPI) took out a Mother’s Day car rally for Safoora in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada on the afternoon on May 10. Amnesty International had called for an urgent action for Zargar on the occasion of Mother’s Day.

Zargar is not the first or the last person to be incarcerated under inhuman conditions for raising voices against the repression of religious minorities and orchestrated state violence. Since January 28, 2020 at least seven student activists and leaders have been arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and National Security Act (NSA) which are non-bailable.

In amity with Zargar, the members of the IAPI held a rally outside the Indian passport and visa application center to maintain physical distancing due to the restrictions put in place because of Covid-19. As the rally passed by the visa application center, participants honked driving past the building, with their cars bearing the signs ‘No CAA’ and ‘Free Safoora’.

Release

The participants also expressed solidarity with those migrant workers who passed away in a train mishap in Auranagabad, Maharashtra, after they were mowed down by a cargo train while they were sleeping on the railway line from being exhausted due to the walk to the train station to catch a special train to reach their village.

Safoora

The organization, IAPI, released a press statement about the rally, also stating that the event coincided with the anniversary of the first major uprising against the British occupation of India in 1857. The rebellion of 1857 had brought together people of different faith groups against colonialism. IAPI which was formed in response to growing attacks on minorities in India believes that this recognition is important to keep the spirit of secularism alive as the current government is bent upon turning the country into Hindu theocracy.

The leading car in the fleet carried a flag of Ghadar Party, a group of Indian revolutionaries who were influenced by the 1857 revolt. The Ghadar Party was established in US by Indian immigrants in 1913 to liberate India from British and form an egalitarian republic. Among those who participated were IAPI President Parshotam Dosanjh, prominent Punjabi poet Amrit Diwana, besides, other IAPI members Tejinder Sharma, Harbeer Rathi and Gurpreet Singh.

Safoora

Safoora

Safoora

Related:

Front Line defenders criticizes repression of dissent and arrest of student activists
1100 feminists write to PM against targeting of anti-CAA women protesters

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