A day after a Delhi court rejected Jamia Millia Islamia scholar Safoora Zargar's bail plea, social media was rife with criticism and solidarity for the pregnant student.
Safoora, whose bail plea was rejected for the third time, has been in prison since Delhi Police's Special Cell arrested her on April 10 in connection with her role in inciting violence ahead of sectarian riots in North-East Delhi in the month of May.
Rejecting her bail plea, the Additional Sessions Court judge Dharmender Rana said that the court found no merit in her application.
The verdict has outraged many on social media who slammed the court as well as Delhi Police for forcing the student to remain in prison amid the COVID-19 crisis, despite being pregnant.
Others also questioned why those such as BJP leaders Kapil Mishra who was accused of inciting violence as well and were even caught on tape doing so allowed to roam free while students were under arrest.
Actress Swara Bhasker also took to Twitter to call for an end to witch-hunting of students, as did filmmaker Hansal Mehta who asked, "Why is Safoora Zargar in jail?"
Pregnant Lady, Safoora Zargar’s Bail application rejected by Judge saying “There was conspiracy to Blockade road”. When Pointed she wasn’t in the area, Judge said “mere absence doesn’t matter”. Meanwhile those who openly gave slogans to Kill and openly lynched are moving freely— Joy (@Joydas) June 4, 2020
Safoora Zargar denied bail.— Hiba Bég (@HibaBeg) June 4, 2020
The word shameful doesn’t cut it.
Pregnancy is a metabolic storm. It changes a woman more than physically. Pregnancy is a privilege. Now imagine what happens when this storm is brewing inside & you are incarcerated. Thrown in prison. Denied any concessions. Yeah that’s the tweet.— Shah Alam Khan (@shahalam13) June 4, 2020
We are so sorry Safoora Zargar.
Some such as Supreme Court advocate Karuna Nundy even pointed out the hypocrisy in outrage against the killing of a pregnant elephant which recently took place in Kerala but allowing a pregnant woman to rot in jail just for blocking a road. Others also pointed out the hypocrisy behind the selective outrage.
Safoora Zargar is 21 weeks pregnant. She has polycystic ovarian syndrome and is at a heightened risk of miscarriage. If you are upset about the Elephant who was fed crackers, a pregnant woman jailed for prima facie blocking a road deserves your strongest support.— Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) June 5, 2020
We seem to live in a country now where its ok to communalise the death of a pregnant elephant while we keep a pregnant mother in jail accusing her of inciting communalism. Have we stopped thinking altogether or lost the ability to empathise? #ElephantDeath #safoorazargar— Mohan Kumaramangalam மோகன் குமாரமங்கலம் (@MKumaramangalam) June 5, 2020
India has incarcerated a pregnant woman for nearly two months, on the basis of dodgy evidence, despite her lawyer telling the court she has health complications that could result in a miscarriage. Read @betwasharma 's report.https://t.co/r4f2AgFFjl— Aman Sethi (@Amannama) June 5, 2020
Several journalists also pointed out the discrepancies of the UAPA itself which allowed cops and courts to imprison targets with ease and without accountability.
After her arrest, social media was rife with disrespectful comments regarding her pregnancy and her husband. But Zargar's family has held strong the crisis. Speaking to The Quint, Zargar's sister Sameeya sai that Safoora was stronger than she appeared.