Azim Premji students protest incarceration of UAPA accused Gulfisha Fatima

Students of Azim Premji University (APU) in Karnataka organized a candlelight vigil on Monday, demanding the release of Gulfisha Fatima, a Delhi based Muslim student leader incarcerated for 18 months under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Gulfisha Fatima is a young Muslim leader from Seelampur in Northeast Delhi and an organizer of anti- Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest in her neighbourhood. After the Delhi pogrom of February 2020, she was arrested and accused of being involved in planning the ‘riot’.

Charged under the draconian UAPA sections, she has been in prison since April 2019.

“Over one hundred and fifty students gathered inside the University Campus with placards calling for the release of all political prisoners incarcerated under UAPA, sedition and other repressive laws especially in the aftermath of the protests against the CAA-NRC-NPR,” claims the press release by the students.

Students raised slogans, spoke in solidarity with Gulfisha and other political prisoners, and performed poetry and songs.

A few faculty members also spoke in solidarity and demanded the immediate release of Gulfisha and all other political prisoners including Sharjeel Imam, Meeran Haider, Khalid Saifi, and Umar Khalid.

Akash Bhattacharya, who teaches at the School of Education, said that he stands with Gulfisha not from a position of sympathy but out of solidarity.

He emphasized the significance of a young Muslim female voice articulating these causes.

“The students, in their speeches, stressed the power of students and their responsibility to speak up as they are the future of the nation,” reads the statement.