Aslah Kayyalakkath & Haniya Senam
“They will always hunt down people who fight for justice,” says Fathima Bathool, wife of Campus Front of India national general secretary Rauf Shareef who was arrested initially by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for money laundering and then later was charged under draconian UAPA by Uttar Pradesh police, accusing of stirring unrest in Hathras following the caste killing of a Dalit woman.
ED on 12 December last year arrested Rauf Shareef in a money laundering case. He was on his way to Oman for his visa renewal. Rauf was arrested from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport and was brought to his home for further procedures. His wife says, ED arrested him in-front the family claiming he was attempting to go abroad.
The allegation that was raised by the ED cannot be withstanding, the amount that is claimed to be part of money laundering is and was white and transparent money, wife of the accused says.
“How can they call it black money?” asks Bathool who is studying MA Economics in a Kerala college.
“Rauf is a charted accountant and a business man. He is also the general secretary of Campus Front of India. He has been part of the CAA-NRC protests and had been part of the protests against Hathras rape as well,” she said to Maktoob.
“He gave funds for the CAA- NRC protests is another allegation against him but where is the proof for it. If they can raise heaps of allegations against him, they can write 5000 pages of chargesheet as well.” – Bathool told Maktoob.
She claimed that her husband has been selectively targeted and to weave a story about Rauf was easy for them as there was everything they wanted.
Bathool also raises questions against the government – “ Shouldn’t we do any business here? Can’t we wear nice clothes? Can’t we have food? These are all our basic rights and necessities, why is the government doing this to us?”
Around Rs 100 crore was sent to the bank account of Popular Front of India (PFI) and this amount was used for anti CAA-NRC protests, the ED claimed when he was arrested for the money laundering case. Rauf informed the court that he owned an oil export company in Oman and the funds were sent from that company. However he had got bail. The court permitted bail directing to execute a bond of Rs five lakh and two solvent sureties.
Bathool alleged that they (UP police) purposefully had made a link with the Hathras case when he got bail, initially the case did not have any connection with Hathras. Rauf was part of Hathras protests but did not go over there.
“Media and people haven’t stood with us, we have been cornered because Rauf is a Campus Front activist,” says Bathool.
“Rauf is falsely accused and arrested for fighting for justice, now people should raise their voice for the injustice that we are in,” she urged.
“I have no regret of Rauf being a campus Front leader, what is wrong in it?” asks Bathool.
“This is not a situation of Rauf’s Family alone, almost all the Muslim families in India are targeted.”
Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, Atiqur Rahman and Masood two Campus Front of India leaders and Alam,a cab driver were also arrested by the UP police in October last year while they were on their way to Hathras. It was alleged they had “ulterior motives of disturbing social harmony and inciting communal riots” and were charged with serious offences including sedition. Later Rauf Shareef and two other Popular Front of India activists from Kerala Anshad and Firos were also framed in the same case.
“The UP Police STF have told Rauf whilst questioning him, they know he has been falsely accused. But this systems is like this and it will always be like this,” Bathool told Maktoob.
Rauf said to Bathool on phone, he fasts most of the days even before Ramadan as there is no proper food and water. He told her about the mental torturing and he was asked to sign in 10 white papers.
Last week, Rauf Shareef had tested positive for coronavirus in Mathura jail.
“There are no proper food and treatment in jail. His health condition is not well now,” Rauf Shareef’s Salman Shareef told Maktoob.
In April, Bathool gave birth to a baby girl and Rauf Shareef called her Asma Michael through the phone call. Bathool said Maktoob, “they (jail authorities) don’t let him speak more than 2 minutes.”
“The sanghparivar is not targeting a person but their families, wives and mothers. They want us all to be devoured.”
“In sha Allah, justice will be granted soon. There is Allah above these injustices,” mother of a 25 days old girl concludes her words.