This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Samra Maimoon Usmani. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Has Safoora Zargar Also Lost Her Human Rights After Being Charged Under UAPA?

More from Samra Maimoon Usmani

Safoora Zargar, a name which has been made famous due to the atrocities caused to the 27-year-old student pursuing M. Phil from the renowned Jamia Milia Islamia which is at present thought to be an institution filled with ‘anti-nationals’.

Well, Safoora Zargar, who is pregnant, has been in jail since April 10, 2020, for protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Safoora, the media coordinator of the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC), played a central role in leading the protests from the University, since December. According to a report by The Hindu, Zargar who was 14-weeks pregnant at that time, was arrested and sent to judicial custody on April 10, based on an FIR which accused her of participating in anti-CAA and NRC protests at the Jaffrabad metro station, prior to riots breaking out in the area.

Bail was granted on the grounds of her pregnancy, and other medical conditions on April 13. But in the meantime, she was remanded under another FIR, which slapped her with the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Under this act, she has been charged with 18 criminal activities including rioting, possession of arms, attempt to murder, incitement of violence, sedition, murder, and promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion.

safoora, UAPA, delhi police, delhi roits, jamiya, saheen bagh, social media
According to a report by The Hindu, Zargar who was 14-weeks pregnant at that time, was arrested and sent to judicial custody on April 10.

A pregnant lady is in Tihar jail for something which is not proven yet. Her bail has been cancelled. And yet the hate mongers tend to question her integrity, her personal life. To get admitted into such an esteemed university is not easy. Many people have tried hard but those who had in them, go ahead to join it. And pursuing a postgraduation degree isn’t for everyone. She is not some sadist who will take pleasure by creating ruckus while pregnant.

Safoora graduated from Jesus and Mary College, Delhi University, where she was associated with the Women’s Development Cell and also ran a campus magazine. She pursued a career in marketing and then went on to do her Master’s in Sociology from Jamia University.

She knew all the consequences and stood up for what she thought was right but she couldn’t have thought about the brutalities waiting for her and. The ‘seditious behaviour’ about which the FIR talks doesn’t make sense. Because according to speeches made by some politicians, they should be among the people to be prisoned on the basis of the charges of sedition.

This incident has attracted both national and international attention with several human rights activists, and even politicians seeking her demand on humanitarian grounds. This ‘witch-hunt’ of minorities being conducted by investigating authorities against anti-CAA protesters, and the students who are questioning the government are treated like threats to national security under the draconian UAPA Act. All this is getting lots of criticism from all over the globe.

This matter is heartbreaking and also thought-provoking but, here also, some people failed to show empathy and went ahead to troll her on social media.

Even BJP leader Kapil Mishra commented on her pregnancy. It was thereafter that social media goons got the courage to pass derogatory comments. Many sexist and bigoted trolls have been spreading rumours about her pregnancy, raising questions on her dignity and the identity of the father, and even accusing her of using the pregnancy as a shield to get away from the legal proceedings.

person holding a banner that says scrap the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016.
Representational image. This ‘witch-hunt’ of minorities being conducted by investigating authorities against anti-CAA protesters.

A number of obscene memes and posts are getting viral. Because at the end of the day the society still believes that by questioning a women’s character they get the full right to punish her even before being proven as guilty. That’s the mentality which is creating all this online ruckus.

Safoora’s husband is clearly disturbed by all the unverified and false information about her being spread to malign and defame her. He didn’t even want to comment on all this nonsense and just said: “I don’t even want to dignify these trolls by responding to them, they will do what they have to.

Even though we talk about feminism and all but still the thought process is limited to talking about the ‘legitimacy’ of someone’s child. The problem here is not Safoora’s child, but her arrest and the inhumanity which is making her suffer even in times of such crisis.

Her family is upset and appalled by all of this, but they still have faith in the judiciary. But it really doesn’t bother the trolls who keep talking of the DNA of the unborn child, and constantly raising a finger at her marital status. If we couldn’t do anything good for anyone shouldn’t we keep mum and not gossip about it rancorously. But still, we did, and hence, it can be clearly concluded that: We as Indians failed. We as humans failed.

You must be to comment.

More from Samra Maimoon Usmani

Similar Posts

By Priyanshi Mehra

By Bindita Sinhä

By Simran Rawat

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below