Gulfisha Fatima

Management graduate and anti-CAA activist arrested in the Delhi Riots conspiracy case.


Gulfisha Fatima is a student woman human rights defender. She was actively involved in the women-led protest in Seelampur in North East Delhi against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). She attempted to raise awareness among local women about the CAA and became a strong voice for secular constitutional principles.

Life and Activism

Gulfisha Fatima is a 28-year-old MBA graduate from North East Delhi and the oldest of three siblings in her family. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Urdu from Kirori Mal College, Delhi. She had plans to pursue a Ph.D. and appear in the National Eligibility Test to become an Assistant Professor. She has no political background or affiliation; she was staying in a hostel in North Delhi when anti-citizenship bill (CAA) protests were happening in her neighborhood. She would eventually start visiting the gatherings and attending the rallies in Seelampur. She was initially said to be associated with the women’s collective Pinjra Tod, but her lawyer and brother have denied the claim.

Circumstances of Arrest

She was arrested in April 2021 by the Delhi Police for allegedly blocking roads near Jafrabad Metro station during the anti-CAA protest. In total, she is booked under four FIRs and UAPA.

Charges & Allegations:

On April 9, 2020, she was arrested under FIR 48/2020 for her involvement in the Jafrabad protest and charged under multiple sections of the India Penal Code, including rioting and assaulting a public servant. She however, was targeted for leading peaceful protests opposing the religiously discriminatory Citizen Amendment Act (CAA). Later in April 2020, authorities charged Fatima under FIR 59/2020 with new offences under the IPC, 1967 Arms Act, and UAPA after authorities accused her of inciting communal violence during the 2020 Delhi riots.

Alleged charges are not only limited to rioting (Sec. 147 IPC) but rioting with a deadly weapon (Sec. 148 IPC), murder (Sec. 302 IPC), attempted murder (Sec. 307 IPC), sedition (Sec. 124A IPC), “promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony” (Sec. 153A IPC), unlawful activities (Sec. 13 UAPA), terrorist acts (Sec. 16 UAPA), raising funds for terrorist acts (Sec. 17 UAPA), and conspiracy (Sec. 18 UAPA). In May 2020, she was granted bail in the Jafrabad protest case (FIR 48/2020). However, she was forced to remain in prison under FIR 59/2020. She was also booked under section 302 in connection to the murder of an 18-year-old Muslim in the Jaffrabad area on February 25, 2020. The murder case was invoked against her after five months of filing an FIR  and two months of filing a charge sheet in the case.

Current Status

She was granted bail on parity last November in the FIR 58/2020, which pertains to a roadblock under the Jafrabad metro station in Northeast Delhi but remained lodged in the Tihar jail because she hadn’t secured bail in the larger conspiracy FIR.

The Delhi court on July 9, 2021, denied her plea for habeas corpus. She contended that her detention was illegal, yet the bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh stated that habeas corpus would not lie in respect of a person who is in judicial custody. In July 2020, she was reportedly charged in two new cases (FIR 83/2020 and FIR 50/2020). That same month she was reportedly granted bail for FIR 83/2020. In November 2020, a Delhi court granted her bail again in another FIR. However, she continues to remain in prison under FIR 59/2020. She is being held in a women’s prison in Tihar Jail, Delhi.

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