Afreen vows he will not be silenced days after his family’s home was demolished

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AFREEN FATIMA, A STUDENT ACTIVIST whose family home in Prayagraj was bulldozed after her father Javed Mohammed was arrested in connection with riots in the city, said Thursday that despite “threats,” she and her community will not be quiet.

Javed and Fatima are both members of the Welfare Party of India, with Fatima serving as national secretary of the Fraternity Movement, the Welfare Party’s student arm. Javed was detained as one of the alleged co-conspirators in the violence that erupted on June 10 in response to suspended BJP politician Nupur Sharma’s remarks about the Prophet.

Fatima spoke via Zoom at a press conference organised by the Fraternity Movement on Thursday, saying, “I stand in perfect solidarity with all Muslim families whose homes have been damaged… Everyone knows what happened to my father, Janaab Javed Mohammed Sahab, and my family, as well as our home.”

Her “heart breaks for others who are not so affluent and whose houses have been broken,” she remarked, adding that her family was “privileged.”

“No matter how much you try to intimidate and threaten us, or to worry us by imprisoning us, we will not be silenced, and we will not depart from this country,” she added.

Fatima insisted that her father was “totally blameless.”

Javed’s wife, Parveen Fatima, also released a statement, claiming that the charges against her husband were “baseless” and that the family’s top objective was to “establish his innocence and secure his release.”