"The conviction of civil rights activist Seema Azad for terrorism, unlawful activities, sedition and waging war against the state is a glaring travesty of justice." This was the view shared by all the speakers at a press conference held in Delhi on Friday.
Justice Sachar argued that judgment of the session’s court is based on little evidence and little application of mind. The only allegation against her is that she was in the possession of literature that the prosecution argued was illegal.
But between possessing literature and committing an offence is a wide chasm that cannot be bridged by the flimsy arguments brought forth by the prosecution and accepted by the judge.
Senior Advocate Ravi Kiran argued that filing of the criminal case against Seema Azad was premeditated. This is clearly visible from even a cursory reading of the FIR. Even after the arrest of Seema Azad, the prosecution continued with its sinister motives.
The literature ostensibly seized from Seema Azad which had been sealed as evidence, was opened by the prosecution without any authorization.
In normal circumstances this would make the entire evidence suspect. But the judge continued to rely on this evidence. Furthermore, he argued that Seema Azad was given on police remand after the completion of the statutory period of 90 days. It is in this illegal custody that the police claim to have two cell phones which are also being used as evidence against her. Given the delay and the circumstances of this custody, the possibility of wrongdoing by the prosecution cannot be ruled out.
Senior Journalist Anand Swaroop Verma has been spearheading a campaign against the verdict in the Seema Azad case and arguing for her release. He argued that the judgment was prejudiced and is an attempt to silence protest against government policy. He argued that Seema was being targetted since she was a bold voice against the takeover of farmer\\\’s lands and livelihood and exposing the reality of the witch-hunt of Muslim youth promoted by the government and its security establishment in Azamgarh.
A large number of academics, journalists, and representatives of various social organisations have already pledged their support to campaign for the immediate and uncinditional release of Seema Azad and her husband.
Condemning the couples’ conviction CFAR in a statement said that Seema Azad and Vishwavijay have consistently raised their voice against human rights violations in Eastern UP through their journalistic writings and political activism.
“The arrest and recent judgement is basically prejudiced and an attempt to create a precedence that whosever will raise voice against wrongdoings of establishment and stand with the oppressed will be dealt with in the same fashion,” CFAR further stated in the statement.