People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 31

August 04 , 2013



AIDWA, DYFI Team Meets Ishrat Jahanís

Family At Its Home In Mumbra


Mariam Dhawale


IN the wake of the CBI filing its first charge-sheet in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, a team of the Maharashtra state committees of the AIDWA and the DYFI met the family of Ishrat Jahan at its home in Mumbra in Thane district on July 26, 2013. The team comprised AIDWA state president Mariam Dhawale, state secretariat member Saroja Swami, DYFI state secretary Preethy Sekhar, state secretariat member K S Raghu, state committee member Adv Ramdas Waingade and Arun Krishna.


It may be recalled that the 19-year old college girl Ishrat Jahan, along with three others, was killed by the Gujarat police in a cold-blooded and pre-planned fake encounter outside Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. Along with the heinous Gujarat communal riots of 2002, the Ishrat Jahan murder case has further exposed the communal brutality of the BJP state government headed by Narendra Modi.      


The team met Ishrat Jahanís mother Shamima Kausar, her sister Musarrat Jahan and other siblings, conveyed its solidarity and assured them of full support in their long-drawn-out struggle for justice.


Last year, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat had addressed a large joint rally in Mumbra organised by various secular forces to support the just struggle of Ishrat Jahanís family. Local NCP MLA Jitendra Avhad, who has taken a clear secular stand, and Shabnam Hashmi, also addressed this rally. Brinda Karat, along with CPI(M) state secretary Dr Ashok Dhawale, had then met Ishrat Jahanís family and had assured them of the full and continuing support of the Party in its struggle. 


Ishrat Jahanís mother Shamima Kausar told the AIDWA and DYFI team that the family had been totally shattered by the brutal killing of her daughter, and even more so by the blatantly false charge made by the authorities that she was a terrorist. Ishrat, she said, was a soft-spoken, selfless girl who worked hard and gave tuitions to children for the upkeep of the family after her fatherís death.


Ishratís murder, said Shamima Kausar, totally disrupted the lives of all her other children. They could not continue with their education for a few years due to social stigma and lack of resources. They had to face many threats and even two physical attacks on them and their local supporters. She said that they were common people, who had to fight against very big and powerful adversaries. It was only because of the constant support of secular and democratic organisations and individuals, that they were able to courageously carry on this struggle for justice for the last nine years.  


Musarrat said that she and her siblings have now re-started their education and they were determined to complete their studies in spite of all obstacles. She also said that they would continue their fight to win justice for Ishrat Jahan, come what may.


We came away after meeting this extraordinary family, full of admiration for its grit and resolve in the face of all odds, and with renewed determination to staunchly carry on the struggle against all manner of communal and fundamentalist forces.