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JNU Leads in Protest Against Demolition, Support Pours in for Afreen Fatima

JNU Students Union members raised slogans against what they termed "bulldozer raj" of the UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led government while holding aloft placards reading: "Stop the witch-hunt of Muslims".

Team Clarion

Students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi on Sunday held a demonstration on the campus in protest against the demolition of the house of a fellow student activist Afreen Fatima in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj, formerly called Allahabad.

Fatima’s house was demolished on Sunday, two days after her father Javed Mohammad was arrested by the UP Police calling him an alleged mastermind of the protests that rocked the city on Friday against derogatory remarks on the Prophet.

JNUSU members raised slogans against what they termed “bulldozer raj” of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led government while holding aloft placards reading: “Stop the witch-hunt of Muslims”.

Meanwhile, officials of the local administration in Varanasi maintained that the demolished house was an “illegal structure”, the family vehemently rebutted the claim saying they are being punished for protesting against the government pointing to vendetta. Lawyers close to the family filed an urgent petition in the Allahabad High Court challenging the demolition.

Videos of the demolition sparked outrage on social media with netizens overwhelmingly raising voices in support of Afreen Fatima.

Meanwhile, Bhahujan Samajwadi party supremo Mayawati urged the court to take cognizance “of the faulty action of targeting the entire family by demolishing the houses”. She slammed the government for targeting a particular community, terming the malicious aggressive actions, crushing the protest, and creating an atmosphere of fear and terror, is unfair and unjust.

Similarly, former Chief Minister and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav said that the government was bulldozing the homes of peaceful protesters while not addressing the cause that “worsened” the situation”.

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera wrote: “If we do not speak out against these illegal demolitions of houses of protesters, there will be nothing left to defend of India we so dearly love. This madness must stop.”

Student and civil society groups have called for protests outside UP Bhavan in  New Delhi to be held on Monday afternoon. 

Activist Afreen Fatima attending the Shaheen Bagh Square of Maharajas College. — Instagram/Afreen Fatima
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