Sexist slandering of Ishrat Jahan condemned

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By Muslim Mirror News,

Ishrat-JehanNew Delhi, July 5:  Over 115 women signed a letter seeking apology from Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi, national spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party, for her sexist slandering of deceased Ishrat Jahan on a television channel. The same letter has also been sent to the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women for appropriate action.

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Text of the Letter

As the noose is tightening around the conspirators who cynically and coldly planned and executed the killing of teenaged Ishrat Jahan and three other people in 2004, there is a concerted campaign – the final, last ditch bid to save their skins – by tarnishing the image of this college student. There have been planted stories in the media linking her to a terrorist group –all of them false and concocted, even as the Gujarat High Court has clearly said that the CBI’s mandate is to simply investigate whether Ishrat and others were killed in cold blood.

But Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi’s rantings on prime time TV touches a new low. Responding to mounting evidence of staged encounter, she asserted on Times Now TV channel that ‘here was a girl travelling with men unrelated to her’. Then she outdid herself by reiterating yesterday that since Ishrat came from a deprived background, she was a “fit case” for being a terrorist. This kind of personal slander reflects BJP’s deeply sexist and patriarchal character, besides of course communal and class prejudice. That their woman spokesperson chose to do so makes it worse. Ms. Lekhi would like us to believe that all those young women who travel and work independently are ‘suspicious’ and could have terrorist links, and are therefore fair game for encounter killings.

We condemn Ms. Lekhi’s insensitive sexist slandering of a girl who cannot defend herself, and demand an immediate apology.

The signatories include:

1. Manisha Sethi, academic, Delhi

2. Mansi Sharma, activist, Delhi

3. Shabnam Hashmi, activist, Delhi

4. Saba Dewan, filmmaker, Delhi

5. Sanghamitra Misra, academic, Delhi

6. Mona Das, academic, Delhi

7. Sucharita Sengupta, academic, Delhi

8. Shohini Ghosh, academic and filmmaker, Delhi

9. Sabeena Gadihoke, academic, Delhi,

10. Seema Misra, Lawyer, Delhi

11. Pushpa, Writer, Bangalore

12. Uma V Chandru, Activist and academic, Bangalore

13. Neelanjana Mukhia, Activist

14. Rakhi Sehgal, activist, Delhi

15. Ramlath Kavil – Mumbai

16. Supriya Madangarli, writer, Mumbai

17. Amrita Shodhan UK

18. Geetanjali Gangoli- UK

19. Penkoottu, Kozhikode, Kerala

20. Prasanna P. R, Kochi, Kerala

21. Bitopi Dutta, researcher, Guwahati

22. Namrata Kilpadi Misra, Freelance editor and Gandhinagar

23. Ammu Abraham, feminist, Mumbai

24. Arfa Khanum Sherwani, Senior Anchor, Rajyasabha TV

25. Khadeej Arif, Journalist, London

26. Peggy Mohan, Writer, Delhi

27. Brinda Bose, academic, Delhi

28. Anurdha Chenoy, academic, Delhi

29. Ruchi Shroff, Vadodara, Gujarat

30. Sania Mariam,student ,kolkata.

31. Rohini Hensman, writer, Mumbai

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