Family of arrested Jamia scholar concerned about her health

“As a family, there is only pain and suffering for us,” said the husband of Safoora Zargar, the Jamia Millia Islamia scholar who was arrested nearly a month back in connection with the north-east Delhi riots.

Ms. Zargar, who is three months’ pregnant, was charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and is currently in judicial custody at Tihar jail. “If she was at home, she wouldn’t even be allowed to get out of bed,” said her husband, who got a chance to speak to her for five minutes for the first time since she was arrested on April 28.

“In terms of health, she is doing fine. She is managing. She is strong,” he said. However, for the family, concerns about conditions in the jail and the threat of the ongoing pandemic are weighing heavy.

“It’s worse because we are not even able to communicate with her,” he said, highlighting that they could not send her help and was barely in touch with her lawyer, given the lockdown restrictions.

Ms. Zargar was a part of student activism at the university and her husband insisted that “she was not interested in political activism”. Before the anti-CAA protests, she had only ever been involved at a couple of university-level issues where she and others had gone up to the Vice-Chancellor, he said. He added, “At the end of the day, they are just students and the protests that were happening were entirely peaceful.”

“All we do is pray for her and hope things change. We believe she has done nothing wrong and we have full faith in the judicial system,” the husband said.

Commenting on the reasons for her arrest, he said: “You don’t need to be a scientist to understand why this is being done..but we are hoping the judicial system comes through.” Following an application from her lawyer, jail authorities agreed to ensure medical examination, proper nutrition and that she be allowed to talk to her family at least once a week. Her husband and her lawyer expect to speak with her for another five minutes this week.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 12:25:05 AM |

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