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Sunday 14th August 2022 / 16 Muharram 1444

Who is Afreen Fatima and why was her house demolished?

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ONLINE

It was Sunday afternoon when the bulldozers razed the house of Welfare Party of India leader and the father of activist Afreen Fatima.

Since then people are curious about why Indian activists had to face such an unfortunate incident?

Afreen Fatima

Afreen Fatima is a student activist who made a social media petition on June 11 to the National Commission on Women, expressing her concerns about her father’s safety.

Afreen who was an elected student leader of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union and an iconic face of anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) movement, is currently a national secretary of Fraternity Movement, the students’ wing of Welfare Party of India.

Arrest

Police raided the home of Afreen Fatima, arresting her father Mohammad Javed, mother, and sister. They have accused her father of “masterminding the protests”.

Fatima said in a video that the police came to her house without a warrant and took her father into custody, Maktoob Media reported. She also said that the police detained her mother and sister and that she does not know their whereabouts.

“My younger sister is just 19 years old and my mother is a diabetic patient,” she added. Fatima also claimed that the police attempted to detain her and her sister-in-law.

Demolishing activist’s house 

Indian authorities demolished their house of Fatima as two JCB bulldozers arrived at her father’s house amid significant police security. After knocking down the front and back gates, the bulldozers removed personal goods from the house and dumped them on an empty property next to Fatima’s home.

Accusation

The Uttar Pradesh police have accused Javed Mohammad, a prominent figure in the anti-CAA protests, as the main conspirator, along with ten others, for calling for a protest against the BJP leaders’ controversial statements about the Prophet (PBUH). His wife and daughter were arrested later that day but were later released.

Notice

It was June 11 when the family received a notice to demolish Fatima’s home, after which the police apparently attempted to urge the family to leave immediately. A team of policemen reached their home at night on June 11 and threatened the family with bulldozer action.

Officials harassed the family members and asked them to leave immediately and if not done, they will be back at 2 am to get them vacant of their home.

Javed Mohammad and his family received a notice referring to the illegal construction of their home. To which Umam called the notice baseless. He said they did not receive anything and they had no information about construction pertaining to five floors or upwards.

‘No notice was served before’

As per the family members, the authorities had not issued any notice earlier about the house being illegal.

Plea

The family’s lawyer Kamal Krishna Roy filed a petition in the Allahabad High Court challenging the demolition. He told Scroll that the house was a gift from the father of Javed’s wife, Parveen Fatima.“Under Muslim Personal Law when a woman gets a property…It does not automatically belong to her husband. The notice that the government has issued is against Javed Mohammad, but the property does not belong to him.”

Crackdown

On Sunday, Indian police cracked down on protests after Muslims took to the streets to protest against anti-Islamic comments made by two members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party in recent weeks.

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