Activist and local leader arrested for allegedly inciting protests demanding arrest of ex-BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammad. His house was unlawfully bulldozed, and he was later booked under NSA. Mohammed Javed is a prominent member of the city’s civil society and a central working committee member of the Welfare Party of India, and the father of activist-scholar Afreen Fatima, who is a general secretary of the Fraternity Movement.
Life and activism
Mohammad Javed’s political career began in the 1980s during his student days at Ewing Christian College in Prayagraj, where he pursued his BA. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mohammad Javed worked compassionately, providing food, shelter, and relief camps for migrant workers. He participated in several protests and agitations, including the 2019 protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
Circumstances of arrest
Protests were held in different parts of the country against the controversial remarks made by now-removed BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on Prophet Mohammad. Over 400 people, 316 in Uttar Pradesh alone, were arrested across India. The Uttar Pradesh police claimed that their 13 personnel were injured and eight vehicles were damaged in connection with the protests throughout the State.
He was named as a key conspirator by the police alongside ten others and was taken into custody from his Kareli-based residence on 10th June 2022. Police sent his mobile phone for a forensic probe.
Charges and allegations
The Uttar Pradesh government invoked NSA on Javed Mohammad, leaving the activist under detention without a trial.
In a video released by news outlet Maktoob Media, Afreen narrates that when her family members went to the police station to enquire about the whereabouts of her father, they were not allowed to meet her father and were not made aware of the location and the reasons behind the arbitrary detention of her father. The police did not even confirm if he was in their custody. At about midnight, the police again barged inside their home and forcefully took away Afreen’s mother, Parveen Fatima, and younger sister, Sumaiya Fatima, without any notice or arrest warrant.
On 12th June 2022, the Prayagraj administration demolished the house of Mohammad Javed, saying it was an “illegal construction.”
The demolition came hours after the Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) stuck a notice outside the house warning demolition.
Mohammad Javed’s family accused the administration of vendetta and said their house was demolished without any legal sanction. After his house was demolished, police falsely claimed that they allegedly recovered “illegal weapons,” a 12 bore illegal country-made pistol, a 315 bore pistol, some cartridges, and “objectionable posters” from the building, and said the list of the items seized would be included in the probe.