May 3, 2020

This is a letter from Sameeya Zargar to her sister Safoora, currently lodged in Tihar Jail. Safoora, media coordinator of the Jamia Coordination Committee, has been charged under the draconian anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Four months pregnant Safoora is being kept in solitary confinement on the pretext of quarantine. She has been unable to speak to her husband — her five applications for making telephone calls rejected by the Jail authorities citing the Covid protocols. Sameeya had hoped to send this letter to her sister in the hope that it would bring her some cheer. We reproduce this letter from Sameeya Zargar’s social media account where she posted it, with her permission.

Hey Safoo di

It’s been too many days since we have spoken. In fact, this must be the longest we’d ever go without fighting with each other actually. First things first, our family is doing okay- scared, in anticipation, sometimes crying but it’s part of the process don’t worry.

The lockdown situation has done it’s part in making contact with you all the more difficult and the process isn’t a cake walk either. Infact it’s almost like a slow death. But mamma-papa made us the feisty girls we are for a reason. We do not get scared easy. Sorry but no matter how excruciatingly hard this is, I won’t let myself believe that you or us cannot take it. I know you’ll top this like all those exams and make the rest of us look like fools.

I’m sure you’re wondering where life took you.. me too (I’m penning this down at 3 am so). But it’s also shown me the unbelievable strength we have to be able to get through this with sanity. You’ve always laughed at my over optimism and guess what, shockingly, even after all this fighting the fight, I think we’ll be just fine.

You’re the strongest person I know and now I’ve seen so many people be strong for you. I’m taking lessons from memories of you having courage. Of being resilient. Of being kind. Of welcoming everyone. Of being so so brave. That’s what I’ve been trying to do and failing pretty badly. It’s led me to the realization that it takes too much to be you. In the sliver of hope that this might reach you God knows how, I want you to know we are here, we are praying and we will see this through.

P.S: Awaiting your 3 am Maggie demands. Hang in there bhai 🙂