Sameeya Zargar wrote an emotional letter to her sister Safoora Zargar, a student leader and a research scholar from Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) who was arrested on 10 April and charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 2019 (UAPA), by the Delhi police in connection with North East Delhi violence.
Safoora was associated with the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC), which organized peaceful protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
“It’s been too many days since we have spoken. In fact, this must be the longest we’d ever go without fighting with each other actually,” Sameeya wrote to her sister Safoora in an open letter which was first shared on her twitter handle.
Safoora is in solitary containment in the high-security Tihar jail in the capital city New Delhi.
Police accused Safoora of being a key “conspirator” in the Delhi pogrom that erupted in 2020 February. The pogrom is widely acknowledged to have been sparked by incendiary comments made by Kapil Mishra, a BJP leader, about Muslims peacefully protesting against ‘anti-Muslim and unconstitutional’ citizenship law. Video evidence and witness accounts pointed to police allowing Hindu mobs to roam the streets freely to target the Muslim community.
In the first investigation report, Delhi police has claimed that “the communal violence was a premeditated conspiracy” which was allegedly hatched by Safoora and other Muslim students and activists.
“You’re the strongest person I know and now I’ve seen so many people be strong for you. I’m taking lessons from memories of you having courage. Of being resilient. Of being kind. Of welcoming everyone. Of being so so brave,” Sameeya writes.
Safoora is in the second trimester of her first pregnancy now.
International human rights watchdogs including Amnesty International and civil society groups, teachers associations, student organizations, and filmmakers across India had issued different statements calling for the release of Safoora and other Muslim students who were ‘targetted by Hindu nationalist government for protesting anti-Muslim laws’ and ‘arrested under false accusations by Delhi Police.’
“In the sliver of hope that this might reach you God knows how, I want you to know we are here, we are praying and we will see this through,” Sameeya said in her letter.
Read the full letter here:
Hey Safoo di
It’s been too many days since we have spoken. In fact, this must be the longest we’d ever go without fighting with each other actually. First things first, our family is doing okay- scared, in anticipation, sometimes crying but its part of the process don’t worry.
The lockdown situation has done its part in making contact with you all the more difficult and the process isn’t a cakewalk either. In fact, it’s almost like a slow death. But mamma-papa made us the feisty girls we are for a reason. We do not get scared easily. Sorry but no matter how excruciatingly hard this is, I won’t let myself believe that you or us cannot take it. I know you’ll top this like all those exams and make the rest of us look like fools.
I am sure you are wondering where life took you.. me too (I’m penning this down at 3 am so). But it’s also shown me the unbelievable strength we have to be able to get through this with sanity. You’ve always laughed at my over-optimism and guess what, shockingly, even after all this fighting the fight, I think we’ll be just fine.
You’re the strongest person I know and now I’ve seen so many people be strong for you. I’m taking lessons from memories of you having courage. Of being resilient. Of being kind. Of welcoming everyone. Of being so so brave. That’s what I’ve been trying to do and failing pretty badly. It’s led me to the realization that it takes too much to be you. In the sliver of hope that this might reach you God knows how, I want you to know we are here, we are praying and we will see this through.
P.S: Awaiting your 3 am Maggie demands. Hang in there bhai