Activist and Researcher
Human Rights Defenders Alert issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission on June 11, 2022, over the abduction of Ms Afreen Fatima’s father, (Javed Mohd) mother (Parveen Fatima) and younger sister (Sumaiya Fatima) by Prayagraj police on the night of June 10-11, without any compliance with the NHRC guidelines or CrPC’s mandatory procedures on arrest and detention.
It is important to state that HRDA had called the HRD Focal Point at the NHRC at 9.32 am and 10.47 am on June 11, 2022, as the urgent intervention was needed to trace WHRD’s parents, who had been abducted to an undisclosed location by the Prayagraj police. However, he did not answer our call nor reply to the SMS we had sent him asking him to contact the relevant police officials. Our urgent appeal was sent a little after efforts over the phone were unsuccessful. Ms. Afreen Fatima is an activist and researcher and had been a student leader during her time at Jawaharlal National University and Aligarh Muslim University.
On June 10, 2022, at 8.30 pm, 10-12 uniformed policemen from the Kotwali police station, came to Ms. Afreen Fatima’s house and told her father to come to SSP’s office for questioning. They had no detention memo or arrest warrant and despite the family’s protests, took away her father to an undisclosed location. At 12.30 am (June 11), 8-10 policemen came to her house and forced her mother and 19-year-old sister to come with them. No due process was followed, and the police had no warrant or order of any kind. They did not disclose where they were being taken.
At 1.30 am (June 11) policemen returned to her house and tried to take Ms. Fatima and her sister-in-law with them, however, the two women resisted and refused to go with them at night. The policemen then tried to evict the WHRD from the house and later cordoned off the house. They even threatened to demolish her house.
The actions of the police cannot even be termed as an abuse of power. We believe their conduct was criminal in nature and that they abducted Ms. Fatima’s parents and sister. Further, we believe that their attempts to detain Ms. Fatima and her sister-in-law should be treated as an attempt to abduct. Lastly, their threats to demolish her house were in the blatant form of intimidation and harassment.
Through our petition, we urged the Hon’ble Commission to call the Director General of Police of UP and direct him to release Ms Fatima’s parents and sister. We further urged the Hon’ble Commission to issue notice to the Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh to produce all relevant documents pertaining to the abduction of Ms Afreen Fatima’s parents for an independent examination by the NHRC and examine compliance with all the mandatory procedures on arrest and detention laid down in Sections 41 of the CrPC, particularly with Sections 41A, 41B and 41D, Section 46(4) of CrPc, and Sections 50, 50A, 51, 54, 55A, 56, 57, and 60A of the Code.