From the past few days violence, internet breakdown, protests, suppressing the voice of dissent, violence against women has sadly become a common affair in our country. Protests against the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act are happening all over the country. At a few places, things are quite peaceful while at some parts of the country are turning very violent. In such places, cases of authority and power using brutality are surfacing. During one such protest on December 19th in Lucknow, social activist and Congress worker, Sadaf Jafar was arrested. Jafar was arrested while she was live on Facebook. She is not the only one who has been detained during the protests but the way these ‘arrests’ are happening is what raises a huge question on the ideals of Democracy and humanity all together.
During one such protest on December 19th in Lucknow, social activist and Congress worker, Sadaf Jafar was arrested. Jafar was arrested while she was live on Facebook.
Suppressing Dissent Through Police Brutality
In the past few days, protests turning violent, police brutality and killing of protesters have become the reality of our country. On one hand, we see this strong voice of dissent emerging in the country and on the other hand, we see the ruling party giving false statements and blaming everything on the opposition. In the midst of all of this, one thing that is needed to be pointed out is threat to democracy. According to news report, police arrested Sadaf Jafar because she was shooting videos where she was condemning the police for not stopping the destruction and vandalism on both people and public property. According to her family, she was brutally beaten up and kicked in the belly.
Her sister Naheed Varna said, “We were all at the protest and lost sight of Sadaf as police resorted to violence. It was only after hours that we got to know that she had been arrested. She was booked under 14 false charges which include ‘sabotage,’ ‘attempt to murder,’ and ‘possession of explosives. I was horrified when I visited her in jail, she looked visibly in a lot of pain. Sadaf was on her menstruation cycle too, which we suspect started only after she was beaten and kicked in the belly,” she added, as per a report in The Logical Indian.
From UP Congress chief to Priyanka Gandhi, many people have condemned this arrest. Apart from this, an interesting thing to note here is that before being picked up by the police, Sadaf Jafar posted a video on Facebook highlighting police inaction as the protests turned violent. Media reports even claim that there were videos where Sadaf Jafar is being heard condemning the violence and saying, ‘Why are you arresting me? Arrest the stone pelters.’
According to Jafar’s family and lawyer, she was manhandled by male police staff which is not just immoral but also illegal. Apart from this, in the recent protests, there have been many cases where women protesters who have been peacefully protesting were harassed, thrashed, assaulted and beaten up by male policemen. This all shows that violence has become a way to suppress dissent and vent out personal anger.
According to Jafar’s family and lawyer, she was manhandled by male police staff which is not just immoral but also illegal. Apart from this, in the recent protests, there have been many cases where women protesters who have been peacefully protesting were harassed, thrashed, assaulted and beaten up by male policemen.
Women Won’t Be Rattled Anymore!
A lot of time, people think that it’s just easier to target women. It’s just easier to use violence on them and suppress them and their voices. But now it’s time that we understand that women won’t be rattled anymore by these cheap tactics. The fight against CAA is the fight for the principles of our constitution and we all are together in this.
Although the authority is fascist to everyone equally, an additional and unfair burden will be borne by female students and protesters, who don’t enjoy the same kind of agency as men do. Many have been pressured by their families to come back home, not participate in the protest and it’s still amazing that women are also standing up for the cause. It’s high time that the people in power realise that creating violence, making false statements, suppressing the voice of dissent, targeting women and just not being accountable for anything is not going to work in our democracy!
And as just Sadaf Jafar said, ‘Whether I get bail or not, fight against CAA must continue,’ and indeed it will continue!
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