Student activist Gulfisha Fatima, arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, alleged before a Delhi court on Monday that she was being subjected to communal slurs and mental harassment by jail authorities. Fatima, an MBA graduate, is currently lodged in Tihar jail in the case related to the communal violence in northeast Delhi in February.
The submissions were made before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat when she was produced through video conferencing in the case. Fatima alleged that she was being discriminated against by the staff in the jail.
“I have a problem in jail. Ever since I was brought here I have been constantly facing discrimination by the jail staff. They called me educated terrorist and are hurling communal slurs at me. I am facing mental harassment here. If I hurt myself, only jail authorities will be responsible for it,” she alleged. After Fatima made her submissions directly to the court, the judge asked her lawyer to file an application regarding this.
To this, her counsel Mehmood Pracha said he will do the necessary in the case. The court had earlier taken cognisance of the charge sheet filed in the case related to the conspiracy in the riots and summoned all the 15 accused to appear before it.
The court on Monday directed that the counsels of the accused be handed over a copy of the charge sheet and put up the case for further consideration on October 3. In its charge sheet, the police has listed 747 witnesses and of them 51 have recorded their statements before the magistrate under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). The charge sheet has been filed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and various sections of the Indian Penal Codes and the Arms Act. The police said it has given the chronology of conspiracy and relevant events in its charge sheet which is likely to be taken up for consideration soon.
“The evidence include WhatsApp chats of February24, the time when riots were happening. At that point, key conspirators were guiding their foot soldiers about violence in the area. The key conspirators were directly in touch with their foot soldiers,” the police said It said “WhatsApp groups were used by conspirators for “violence in Seelampur Jafrabad area. There were 25 protest sites. 25 WhatsApp groups were especially created for each. The impression was given that they were anti-CAA protest groups but through these sites conspirators were being guided.” Delhi Police’s Special cell said Tahir Hussain, Khalid Saifi and Umar Khalid had allegedly planned to carry out massive violence in the capital during US President Donald Trump’s visit to Delhi.
In the charge sheet, which discusses the conspiracy behind the Delhi riots, the police has claimed that “on January 8, Tahir had met Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi at Shaheen Bagh sit-in protest. Meetings subsequently also took place in the PFI office in Jamia nagar where Khalid Saifi instigated Tahir.” “Umar reportedly assured that through his contacts (in PFI) logistical support etc will be provided,” police said.
Popular Front of India (PFI), formed in 2006 in Kerala as a successor to the National Democratic Front (NDF), provided financial support to the protests, police had earlier alleged. Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.