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Voices of dissent coming from women scared Modi Govt: Safoora Zargar

Safoora Zargar was arrested for protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) when she was 03-month pregnant

Monday March 8, 2021 6:19 PM, ummid.com News Network

Safoora Zargar

Mumbai: The strong protest and voices of dissent coming from women was unexpected for the Narendra Modi government and that actually scared it, Jamia Millia Islamia student and activist Safoora Zargar said.

Safoora Zargar was arrested by Delhi Police for protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) when she was 03-month pregnant.

She was granted bail after over two and half months in confinement.

"I think the [Indian] state is afraid of strong women which is why I was targeted. The voices of women is not something the state had anticipated coming out so strongly", Zargar said in an interview to Seemi Pasha for Al Jazeera.

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"They wanted some scapegoat to pin everything on. Randomly picking up students without any reason and without any proof is something they have been doing and it’s not something that is new in our country", she said in the interview released when the world is celebrating International Women's Day.

In reply to another question, Zargar pleaded innocence and said her arrest and later UAPA charge against him was uncalled for.

"I didn’t. I don’t think I was doing anything even remotely wrong to even be called for questioning. I was just participating in a protest like so many other students in the country. So I did not anticipate anything of the sort and it came as a very big shock to me", she said.

Safoora Zargar had faced worst kind of vilification campaign on social networking sites and media after her arrest. This had led to Delhi Commission for Women sending a notice to Delhi Police demanding the arrest of the people involved in running the vilification campaign against her.

Referring to the vilification campaign, Zargar recalled the conversation she had with a policewoman in jail.

"She said they were saying all kinds of things on social media, including that I wasn’t married, that I used to go to Shaheen Bagh and got pregnant there. I was like I have never been to Shaheen Bagh. What the hell? Why am I getting trolled for things and places I have never been to", Zargar said.

Replying how she felt about all this when she came out of the jail, Zargar said:

"I looked at it from a very different perspective. I wanted to know what all has happened behind me and I felt strong enough to take it."

"I am strong enough to see how things are. I didn’t want to come out and say: ‘Look, I have a husband and a family.’ In fact, I was angry at people who had posted my wedding pictures because I didn’t want my private life to be out there. And I am saying this without any disrespect for those people", she said.


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