Rauf Shareef, the national leader of CFI, a student wing of the Popular Front of India (PFI), was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in December 2020. According to ED, the CFI leader allegedly provided financial support to incite communal unrest in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras. After two months of arrest, Rauf got bail as the ED failed to produce evidence. Later, he was charged under the Unlawful Prevention of Atrocities Act (UAPA) by the Uttar Pradesh Police, accusing him of instigating communal disharmony in Hathras.
Life and Activism
Rauf is a Chartered Accountant and a businessman. He is the general secretary of the CFI, a student wing of the Popular Front of India (PFI). He has been involved in activism against the discriminatory legislations of India’s ruling Hindu nationalist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ideology of Hindutva or Hindu nationalism. Rauf has ferociously spoken out against the witch hunt of anti-Citizenship Bill protesters during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has also been at the forefront of various protest movements across the country.
The rape and murder of a Dalit girl by the dominant caste men of the Thakur community in Hathras stirred nationwide outrage. Without her family’s consent, the authorities cremated the Dalit girl to curb public anger. When two CFI members from Delhi, journalist Siddique Kappan, and a driver were on their way to Hathras to extend solidarity with the family, the Uttar Pradesh Police arrested all of them over the accusation that they were there to incite caste violence. Later, police also named Rauf in the same case.
His wife, Fathima Bathroom, asserts that Rauf has been targeted for his activism and that they will always hunt down people who fight for justice.
Charges and Allegations
Anti-terror law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
In April 2021, he tested positive for COVID. His family alleged that Rauf had been treated like an animal and his health had deteriorated.
Not released yet.