Saturday, March 2, 2024

Ramadan without beloved; family members of Muslim prisoners await safe return of their kin

“The first question which Kappan faced after his detention was “Did he eat beef?”. He has beaten up for that and he has been asked some wizard questions like these.” Said Raihana, wife of Siddique Kappan, a journalist who was arrested on his way to Hathras for reporting the Hathras rape case.

“Kappan is tested positive, and he is a diabetic patient too. He even can’t eat and stand up in his legs since he collapsed in the bathroom of the prison which caused a fracture in his leg and injuries to his face. He is at high risk since he is running at the lowest level of immunity. We are not informed of anything by the police. It is high time to get intervention in his matter by any of the systems of the justice”. Raihana added.

She was addressing people through a virtual meeting held by the Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) where family members of political prisoners Khalid Saifi, Sharjeel Imam, Umar Khalid, Asif Iqbal Tanha and others attended, on Saturday.

Families of political prisoners joined in a virtual meeting with their memories and to tell how they are coping up in this Ramadan without their loved ones.

On 24rth April, the interaction titled, Sub Yaad Ragha Jega (everything will be remembered) happened through the zoom app under the initiative of the SIO. They spoke to audiences from around the country and media about their experience of fighting for justice and how their journey of justice in the prison.

“Just like how the Oxygen is important for us, the justice is an uncompromising part of the world. Like the current situation, we are running out of justice. If this government try a little bit to concentrate on the hospitals more than filling the jails, the situation won’t be worst as this, ” stated Salman, the national president of SIO in the meeting.

“He always cared about the marginalised people of this country. He has even done a thesis on the crisis of Adivasi people in Jharkhand and conducts programs on the problems of Kashmiris as well. The misreading of that program was turned to his very first arrest in 2016 from JNU,” said the imprisoned activist Umar Khalid’s father Dr. SQR Ilyas.

He noted that “Umar was aware of the problems of Muslims in India and the hate campaigning which is going on against them”.

“Either me nor his mother and siblings don’t have any guilty feelings about his imprisonment and we proud of him in his battle of justice. Insha Allah, this country will be free as our dears wished and nothing is going to be a waste. None of us think of them as victims. When democracy is under threat and fascism is on the rise, I’m happy and proud that our son stood up against the forces of injustice.” He added.

“Asif is not here from the previous Ramadan. We are going on through the second without him. Yes, I was sad without his presence, but we are proud of him. Our children, who are in jail, are not criminals but every one of them are fighters in the path of truth, ” said the mother of Asif Iqbal Tanha, a student leader and anti CAA activist from Jamia Millia Islamia.

“There are a lot of unsung heroes in jail whom we know not till now. All of us have a privilege and the relief of the coverage which they don’t have,” according to Muzammil imam, brother of Sharjeel imam, JNU research scholar who has been in judicial custody under draconian UAPA charges.

He added that Sharjeel is informing frequently about these people when he was talking to his brother on the phone.

By quoting Sharjeel, Muzammil said that “slapping with UAPA is their trick to silence the Muslims who stood up firmly against the injustice. They don’t want another one like that in the society.”

With Sharjeel Imam, Asif, Meeran, Kappan, Khalid Saifi, and Umar Khalid are charged under UAPA.

Meeran Haider, PhD scholar in Jamia Millia Islamia, was very active in COVID-19 relief works in northeast Delhi when he was arrested by Delhi police in Delhi pogrom conspiracy case.

“Everyone know about his innocence,” said Meeran’s sister to the audience. For him, this is his second Ramadn in the prison.

The United Against Hate activist Khalid Saifi has been tortured, beaten, and even urinated on, point out his wife, Nargis Safi.

Nargis, while narrating his ordeal in prison, said that her husband also bore communal slurs, but that he was still smiling when she saw him during a hearing.

“Khalid was always with the anti CAA protesters. He even went to Assam when Assam NRC enacted and talked about the effect which it is going to make in the entire country, ” she said.

“He is our proud and we are not with broken hearts. Even my children are considering him as their hero. He is in the path of prophet Yosef,” added by Nargis in the meet.

“This is Ramadan and his memories are shedding us when he is not here to do iftar together,” said, the mother of Athar.

Athar is an anti CAA activist who has been jailed by Delhi police in Delhi pogrom conspiracy case.

“We haven’t thrown our hope. That is not upon the government but upon our Lord,” said Muzammil Imam in his concluding words.


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