Student activist Afreen Fatima’s house demolished in UP, father booked under Gangster Act

Afreen Fatima's house being demolished by UP authorities on June 12, 2022. [Photo: Twitter/thenewsminute]

Uttar Pradesh: Local administration of Uttar Pradesh Prayagraj accompanied by a heavy police deployment and bulldozers demolished the residence of Welfare Party of India member and the father of activist Afreen Fatima, Javed Mohammed, on the afternoon of Sunday, June 12.

Javed Mohammed, is accused of being behind Friday’s protest against BJP members Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal who made derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad.

Visuals showed JCBs outside the house and the gates being ripped off the hinges. As per reports, the bulldozers removed personal belongings in the house and dumped them in the empty plot next door, and then began demolishing the walls.

This came just hours after the Prayagraj Development Authority told the family to vacate the house by 11 am on Sunday.

The PDA’s notice was posted on the gate of Javed’s home in the city’s Atala area, informing the residents that they must vacate the property by 11 am on June 12 so that action can be taken.

The notice cites that the property has illegal structures which were constructed without taking the requisite permits and hence, in violation of several building and planning regulations.

Earlier, Afreen Fatima, also a student leader, when her family members had been arrested, put out a video appeal on social media highlighting concerns about her father’s safety. 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.”

RLD chief Jayant Choudhary hence attacked the state government for its extra-judicial actions and failure to contain the violence. Jayant Choudhary said: “The use of bulldozer is not the enforcement of the rule of law. Rather, it has become a symbol of state sponsored hooliganism!”

Javed’s younger daughter Somaiya Fatima told Scroll that the family had not received a notice and also questioned how it was legal to demolish the house since it wasn’t in Javed’s name but his wife’s. This, however, was not mentioned in the notice given to the family to vacate. Somaiya, her mother and Javed had all been detained by the police on Saturday. She and her mother were let go on Sunday morning.

The Atala area was purportedly the epicentre of the demonstrations against the inflammatory remarks on Prophet Muhammad-PBUH made by now suspended BJP members.

Police allege that Mohammad Javed gave the call for the protests. He was arrested and booked under the Gangster Act.

The Uttar Pradesh Police has so far arrested more than 300 persons in the state claiming that they were involved in Friday’s protest that turned violent. Of them, 91 people have been arrested from Prayagraj, 51 from Hathras, 71 from Saharanpur, 34 from Moradabad, 15 from Firozabad, six from Aligarh, 34 from Ambedkar Nagar and two from Jalaun district.

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