Monday, December 4, 2023

Allahabad HC hears plea of Afreen Fatima’s mother against demolition

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Illustration: Faheem PT

The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday took up a petition challenging the demolition of a house belonging to the family of prominent Muslim activists Javed Mohammad and Afreen Fatima. Their house was demolished by the civic authorities two days after Javed was illegally detained and arrested in connection with the massive protests against Nupur Sharma’s derogatory comments on the prophet Muhammed in Allahabad.

The HC gave the state government and the Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) one day to file a reply and listed the matter for hearing on Thursday, 29 June.

Two weeks ago,  the PDA had demolished Javed’s house, a day after serving a notice to him asking him to vacate the property by next morning to go ahead with demolition proceedings.

However, the house was not Javed’s and it belonged to Javed’s wife Parveen Fatima. The house was wrongfully demolished “without following due process,” Parveen Fatima said to the court.

The petition also says that the land on which the house is built was gifted to Fatima by her father.

The petition by Javed’s wife Parveen Fatima reads, “It is, therefore, most respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble Court may graciously be pleased to command/direct the respondents to arrange a Government Accommodation for the Petitioner No. 1 and her family till the reconstruction of her house Otherwise the Applicants/Petitioners shall suffer irreparable loss and injury (sic).”

“The electricity bill, house tax and water tax is deposited on behalf of Parveen Fatima… Javed Mohammad is the husband of her but he has no property right over the house,” the petitioner says.

Fatima also requested the court to order officials to arrange a government accommodation for the family.

Opposition leaders, Muslim leaders, rights activists, and global rights bodies strongly condemned “the arbitrary demolition of Afreen Fatima’s house, as well as the arbitrary detention of her mother and sister and the ongoing arbitrary detention and criminalisation of her father, Javed Mohammad.”

Afreen Fatima, national secretary of Fraternity Movement, is a woman human rights defender and a Muslim activist who has been vocal against the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act passed (CAA) in 2019. She is the former president of the students’ union of Women’s College at the Aligarh Muslim University, and former councilor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University students’ union. Javed is the national federal working committee member of Welfare Party of India.

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