Days after vitriolic and sexist personal attacks of 27-year-old Jamia Millia Islamia student Safoora Zargar went viral on social media, the Delhi Commission for Women has finally taken cognisance of the issue. DCW chief Swati Maliwal took to Twitter to call out the sexist trolling of Zargar, who is three months pregnant and issued a notice to Delhi Police's Cyber Cell, asking it to start an investigation into the matter.
"#SafooraZargar is pregnant & in jail. Whether she is guilty or not, will be decided by court," Maliwal wrote. "But the way trolls have outraged her modesty and vilified a pregnant woman’s character is shameful! Issued Notice to Delhi Police Cyber Cell to imm take action against the trolls," she added.
Zargar, who is three months pregnant, has been in Tihar jail since April 10 after being remanded under the controversial Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in connection to her alleged role in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in February that preceded the sectarian violence that broke out in North East Delhi.
Since her arrest, social media trolls have been slandering and character assassinating Zargar due to her pregnancy. Many falsely claimed that she was pregnant out of wedlock and mocked her for not knowing who the father of the child was.
Taking note of the abuse, DCW sent a notice to Delhi Police's cyber cell and investigate the matter.
#SafooraZargar is pregnant & in jail. Whether she is guilty or not, will be decided by court. But the way trolls have outraged her modesty and vilified a pregnant woman’s character is shameful! Issued Notice to Delhi Police Cyber Cell to imm take action against the trolls. pic.twitter.com/lpjFUCkVK1 — Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) May 6, 2020
Zargar's case attracted both national and international attention with several human rights activists, and even politicians seeking her demand on humanitarian grounds. Many have criticised the "witch-hunt" being conducted by investigating authorities to weed out anti-CAA protesters and students critical of the government by tagging them as threats to national security under UAPA.
Maliwal's tweet was met with appreciation by netizens, many of whom had been outraging against the sexist and vicious trolling of Zargar. The trolling also occurred parallelly to the 'Bois Locker Room' expose wherein an Instagram group of South Delhi boys objectifying minor women and discussing methods of rape attracted widespread outrage and police action.