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Women’s Groups Seek Justice and Action Against the Real Perpetrators of Delhi Riots

Ten women’s groups and over a hundred activists have released a joint statement calling for justice and unity after the recent riots in Delhi.

Ten women’s groups and over a hundred activists have released a joint statement calling for an end to the “shameful attempt to pin blame for the terrible violence in Delhi on women and all the peaceful protestors against NPR-CAA-NRC.”

They have called for the government and civil society to help citizens seek justice, take action against the real perpetrators of the riots, help citizens come together again, and help heal the country.

Following is the full text of their statement:

Delhi is struggling to recover from the terrible violence in the north east that hit some of the poorest people in our country – tailors, scrap dealers, carpenters, and daily wagers. Scared and displaced Muslims, who were the primary target of this hate-attack, are still in relief camps, holding on to their children and their dignity despite this devastation.

Hindu families who lost homes and properties are struggling to come to terms with this nightmare as well. Both communities bear the sorrow of lives and livelihoods lost in this senseless violence. We stand with each of them.

This is a moment when we need our governments to give us justice, reassurance and relief. But what we see instead is that the State, a section of the media, and vested interests are creating even more hate. Instead of taking action against an erring police force, and against those who openly instigated and perpetrated this violence, we find them trying to pin the blame on the women for protesting peacefully.

What we are witnessing is a concerted misinformation campaign that criminalises the protestors, spins conspiracy theories, and targets all those who supported the protests. Anyone who has been to these protests will know how morally low this is.

These protests brought together all the colours of our country.

We are proud that Muslim women led these protests, in the best tradition of our freedom struggle, and proud that we joined this struggle with them, in full measure as Indians – as students, women’s rights activists and queer groups, people’s movements, farmers and workers collectives, and as ordinary citizens; to fight for justice, harmony and peace for all.

Clearly, something resonated in the soul of India, which is why in over 300 places, women sat and many still sit on our streets to be heard, to be visible as democratic citizens. This is surely what women’s empowerment is all about. This is what India must celebrate and stand behind.

Today, the rainbow that is India is being targeted. There is intimidation, FIRs based on falsehoods, threat of arrest against the protestors and those who stood with the protests. This politics of intimidation threatens all women, it threatens each citizen, and it must end. Now.

This vicious campaign against citizens of a free democratic country and our collective right to protest must stop immediately.

We say, across identities of religion, caste, class, gender, sexuality and ability, that we oppose the proposed National Population Register (NPR), Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). We stand by the protestors and the right to protest. And we shall defend that right.

We demand that:

•          ACTION BE TAKEN against those who have conducted systematic hate campaigns, spread falsehood, instigated and perpetrated the violence.

•          FALSE CASES BE WITHDRAWN against protestors exercising their democratic rights.

•          The Union government WITHDRAW NPR-CAA-NRC, and initiate dialogue with the protesting women without any further delay.

•          The Delhi government DELINK THE NPR from the Census.

•          STATE EFFORTS BE EXPEDITED to provide time bound relief and compensation to families of all who lost lives in the Delhi violence, and full rehabilitation to those displaced.

WE REITERATE OUR COMMITMENT to the values of peace and communal amity even as we continue our struggle:

 ● FOR the preservation of constitutional values

 ● AGAINST NPR-CAA-NRC

 ● FOR de-linking of the Census and NPR

● FOR the protection of the democratic rights of the people of India to live, speak, believe, work, protest without fear.

We stand united.

Individuals:

1.         Devaki Jain, economist, New Delhi

2.         Uma Chakravarti, New Delhi

3.         Tanika Sarkar, New Delhi

4.         Kamla Bhasin, feminist activist, New Delhi

5.         Farah Naqvi, New Delhi

6.         Annie Raja, NFIW

7.         Mariam Dhawale, AIDWA, New Delhi

8.         Roshmi Goswami, feminist human rights activist

9.         Navsharan Singh, Karwan-e-Mohabbat

10.       Ajita Rao, dalit feminist, New Delhi

11.       Meera Sanghamitra, National Alliance of People’s Movements

12.       Bittu K, activist, New Delhi

13.       Maya Krishna Rao, theatre artist, New Delhi

14.       Abha Bhaiya, activist, New Delhi

15.       Pratiksha Baxi, sociologist, New Delhi

16.       Ayesha Kidwai, professor, JNU, New Delhi

17.       Freny Manecksha, independent journalist, Mumbai

18.       Jayati Ghosh, New Delhi

19.       Pamela Philipose, New Delhi

20.       Kavita Srivastava

21.       Amrita Johri, New Delhi

22.       Amutha Jayadeep, joint secretary, JNUSU, New Delhi

23.       Anamika Mishra, Karwan e Mohabbat

24.       Anjali Bharadwaj, New Delhi

25.       Anomita Sen, New Delhi

26.       Anubhuti Sharma, research scholar, New Delhi

27.       Anuradha Banerji, researcher, New Delhi

28.       Apurba Kumar Baruah, president, Sustha Samaj Bikash Chakra, and academic advisor, Assam School of Journalism, Guwahati

29.       Arpita Jaya, Quill Foundation, New Delhi.

30.       Ashima Roy Chowdhury, Saheli, New Delhi.

31.       Bratati Pande, retired teacher, I.P. College, New Delhi.

32.       Cheryl D’Souza, advocate

33.       Chhaya Basu, Karwan e Mohabbat

34.       Darshana Mitra, legal researcher

35.       Deepa V, feminist health activist, New Delhi

36.       Deepti

37.       Dev Desai, social activist, ANHAD, Gujarat

38.       Devika Singh

39.       Dipa Sinha

40.       Ditilekha, New Delhi

41.       Dyuti, New Delhi

42.       Esther M., public health researcher

43.       Faruque ul Islam, Karwan e Mohabbat

44.       Gargi Mishra, public health researcher

45.       Gitanjali Prasad, legal researcher

46.       Guneet Kaur, IHRL, researcher, lawyer

47.       Hena Faqurudheen, mental health professional, New Delhi

48.       Inayat Singh Kakar, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan

49.       Indira Unninayar, advocate, Supreme Court and Delhi High Court, New Delhi

50.       Jaya Sharma, activist, New Delhi

51.       Jeevika S, lawyer, New Delhi

52.       Johanna Lokhande

53.       Khadija Faruqui, human rights activist

54.       Madhur Bharatiya, advocate, Delhi

55.       Maheen Mirza, filmmaker, Bhopal

56.       Mamata, activist, Delhi

57.       Manasi Pingle, Bangalore

58.       Meenal Manolika, New Delhi

59.       Meghna Mehra, founder, All India Queer Association

60.       Minakshi Singh, Unity of Christ

61.       Mohd. Arif, Karwan e Mohabbat

62.       Mushtaque Ali Shaikh, cultural activist, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

63.       Nandini Rao Akkaraju, New Delhi

64.       Nandita Narain, Delhi University

65.       Nidhi Agrawal, activist, New Delhi

66.       Nikita Agrawal, advocate, New Delhi

67.       Nikita Sonavane, lawyer and activist, Bhopal

68.       Nisha Biswas, scientist and activist, Kolkata

69.       Nitika Khaitan, PUDR

70.       Padmaja Shaw, retired professor, Osmania University, Hyderabad

71.       Poonam Kaushik, Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan, New Delhi

72.       Prabha, New Delhi

73.       Priya Pillai, environmental activist, New Delhi

74.       Priyanka Kumari, social worker

75.       Pyoli, WSS

76.       Radhika Chitkara, assistant professor, JGLS, Sonipat

77.       Radhika Menon

78.       Rakshi Rath, psychologist

79.       Rinchin, activist, Chhattisgarh

80.       Rituparna Borah, activist, New Delhi

81.       Roop Rekha Verma, Saajhi Duniya, Lucknow

82.       Rushda, working president, NFIW Delhi

83.       Sadhna Arya, Delhi University, New Delhi

84.       Sarojini N, New Delhi

85.       Satnam Kaur, Saheli, New Delhi.

86.       Satyaveer Aman Sathi

87.       Savita Sharma, feminist activist, New Delhi

88.       Shambhavi Saxena, writer, New Delhi

89.       Shipra Nigam, research scholar, New Delhi

90.       Shivangi Bhasin, student, New Delhi

91.       Shomona Khanna, advocate, New Delhi

92.       Shradha Lama, student, New Delhi

93.       Shruti Iyer, student, University of Oxford

94.       Sneha Makkad, public health activist and researcher

95.       Snehal Shah, New Delhi

96.       Soma KP, gender and policy researcher, New Delhi

97.       Sumita Hazarika, advocate, New Delhi

98.       Suroor Mander, advocate, New Delhi

99.       Sushama Ramswami, Indian Christian Women’s Movement, New Delhi

100.     Susheela, public health researcher

101.     Tani Bhargava, New Delhi

102.     Tanima, New Delhi

103.     Urvashi, Nirantar, New Delhi

104.     Vani Subramanian, filmmaker, New Delhi

105.     Vidya Dinkar, INSAF

Organisations/Groups:

1.         Saheli Women’s Resource Centre

2.         All India Women’s Democratic Association

3.         Centre for Struggling Women

4.         Democratic Teacher’s Front

5.         Hasratein – a queer group

6.         Indian Christian Women’s Movement, New Delhi

7.         National Federation of Indian Women

8.         One Billion Rising

9.         Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan

10.       Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression

Lead image: Parveen Negi, EPS / The New Indian Express

Also Read: I Am Hindu and I Don’t Want India to Be a Hindu State

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