The Delhi High Court Friday dismissed a habeas corpus plea for release by Gulfisha Fatima, a student activist accused in the 2020 Delhi Riots, citing they could not decide on the validity for a remand order.
Fatima was actively involved in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in the national capital last year. She was among the students – alongside Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal – accused of incitement to and involvement in the bloody Delhi Riots that broke out in northeast areas in February 2020.
She was arrested April 11 in a case related to the alleged conspiracy behind the violence under the severe Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The Delhi Police have previously opposed her plea for release, calling it a “blatant abuse of the process of law.”
Gulfisha Fatima: The Case Against Her
Gulfisha Fatima, 28, was an active protestor in Seelampur and Jaffrabad areas where anti-CAA protests were spirited. There was initial doubt about her being from either Jamia Millia Islamia or Pinjra Tod, but her brother cleared she was not associated with either establishment. “This is a false narrative being created around her to implicate her,” he had told media.
A division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said since Fatima was in judicial custody, it could not be termed “illegal.”
“This petition is completely misplaced and not maintainable. Same is accordingly dismissed,” the bench said, as per PTI.
Another petition for release by Fatima, who is also accused in three other riots-related cases, was dismissed July 5.
The police, opposing her plea, has said a chargesheet in the Delhi Riots “conspiracy” was filed in September last year and pursuant to that Fatima was taken in custody; hence her detention was valid. Her release petition was filed on “baseless, concocted, motivated and absurd facts,” they said in their response to the plea.
MBA graduate Fatima last year had alleged mental harassment in jail, saying “ever since I was brought here I have been constantly facing discrimination by the jail staff. They call me ‘educated terrorist.’ They tell me, ‘you die inside, outside you have orchestrated riots.” Read here.