“I demand death for my daughter’s killers. Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s role should be probed now,” Shamima Kauser said, wiping a tear, as she spoke before a huge crowd of poets, writers, activists, politicians and intellectuals on Saturday.
The mother of Ishrat Jahan, the 19-year-old girl student gunned down by the Gujarat police nine years ago, along with her younger daughter Musarat, narrated a tale of horror and pain as the attentive audience listened.
The show of solidarity, at the Capital’s Constitution Club, was sought to be disrupted by activists of the Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena, a right-wing outfit, whose members protested, and supported Jahan’s killing. They came prepared with banners in support of the Intelligence Bureau, which is alleged to have had a role in the “staged shootout”.
A social media campaign around Ishrat is gaining traction. With over 2,500 likes on Facebook — Justice for Ishrat Jahan Now — the page, set up by rights activists, such as Manisha Sethi, is fast becoming a rallying point for a nationwide campaign. “Shame,” said a post by Gopikanta Ghosh on the cold-blooded killing. Ishrat Jahan was gunned down on June 15, 2004, along with three men.