New Delhi: Days after arrested Jamia Millia Islamia student Safoora Zargar was subjected to a slander campaign on social media, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has issued a notice to the cyber cell of the Delhi Police asking for action to be taken against the trolls.
The notice issued Wednesday says a “vilification campaign is being run against her and her unborn child on social media and misogynistic comments are being made”.
Zargar, a 27-year-old MPhil student from Jamia, is over three months pregnant, and was arrested by the Delhi Police’s special cell on 10 April. She was later charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in connection with the Delhi riots.
“The case against her is subjudice and the law shall take its own course. However, the same does not give anyone the right to outrage her modesty and abuse her and her family,” the notice says. “Several comments outraging her dignity and threatening her family have also been made.”
The notice asks the Delhi Police to submit a copy of the FIR registered in the matter as well as details of the accused identified and arrested. The police has also been asked to inform the commission about the “measures taken to remove the posts outraging her modesty from social media”.
The DCW has asked the Delhi Police to share all these details by 10 May.
DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal shared the notice on her Twitter handle saying “whether she is guilty or not, will be decided by court”.
“But the way trolls have outraged her modesty and vilified and pregnant woman’s character is shameful!” she tweeted.
#SafooraZargar is pregnant & in jail. Whether she is guilty or not, will be decided by court.
But the way trolls have outraged her modesty and vilified a pregnant woman’s character is shameful!
Issued Notice to Delhi Police Cyber Cell to imm take action against the trolls. pic.twitter.com/lpjFUCkVK1
— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) May 6, 2020
Online slander after BJP leader’s post
On Monday, three weeks after her arrest, a hashtag with her name #सफूरा_जरगर, was trending on Twitter. This came just hours after Delhi BJP leader Kapil Mishra commented on her pregnancy.
Please don't connect her pregnancy with my speech
It doesn't work that way https://t.co/WtKokksIqR
— Kapil Mishra (@KapilMishra_IND) May 3, 2020
Following this, many tweets questioning Zargar’s marital status surfaced.
Zargar’s sister Sameeya had told ThePrint that the family was “appalled and distraught” by the comments made.
Zargar case discussed at HC panel meet
A high powered committee of the Delhi High Court noted Tuesday that Zargar, along with two other pregnant prisoners, was being provided adequate medical care and “special diet”.
The matter came up during one of the meetings of the committee, set up to look into decongestion of prisons across Delhi in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
During the meeting, the Delhi State Legal Services Authority member secretary referred to a representation sent to him by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative Chairperson Wajahat Habibullah on healthcare needs of Zargar and other pregnant prisoners.