Dalit activist Nodeep Kaur, who fights for the rights of labourers and was actively supporting the ongoing farmers agitation, has in her bail plea before the Punjab and Haryana High Court claimed that she was “severely beaten up at a police station after her arrest by the Sonipat police last month.” According to a report in the Telegraph, Kaur, has also claimed on record that her “medical examination was not conducted in violation of section 54 of the Criminal Procedure Code.”
She remains lodged in Haryana’s Karnal jail. The Punjab and Haryana High Court adjourned her bail hearing and posted the matter for February 26. The bail plea was filed through her counsels Arshdeep Singh Cheema and Harinder Deep Singh Bains, where Kaur has stated that she was “falsely arraigned as accused in an FIR lodged under various sections, including 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC” adding that she was “targeted and falsely implicated” in the case as she was successful in generating massive support for the ongoing farmer movement against the Centre’s three new farm laws.
On Monday February 15, Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court took suo motu cognisance of the alleged ‘illegal confinement’ of the 24-year-old labour activist Nodeep Kaur. Kaur, who has been lodged in Karnal Jail since her arrest on January 12, 2021, by the Haryana Police, was granted bail by a sessions court in Sonepat that day. However, the 24-year-old Dalit labour rights activist of the Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan (MAS) remains behind bars for now. This bail was granted in connection with a case registered against her in January. This is the second of three cases in which she has been granted bail.
The bail plea (that was taken up on February 24 for hearing but got adjourned to February 26) states that on January 12, the petitioner and MAS members marched towards a factory demanding payment of pending wages of some workers.
The Telegraph reported that the HC was informed that “they were manhandled by a group formed by the Kundli Industrial Area, an association of industrial owners. In the meantime, a team from Kundli police station led by the station house officer reached there and immediately on their arrival, they grabbed the petitioner by her hair and dragged to the side, according to the plea. This angered the protesters and the situation became worse when the police resorted to lathi charge on peaceful protesters. A scuffle ensued and the petitioner tried to pacify the situation but to no avail… The petitioner alone was caught and arrested by police officials. She was beaten, tortured and suffered multiple injuries.”
Kaur was then taken to the police station allegedly in the absence of any woman police official and was beaten up by police officials, she was arrested in Haryana’s Sonipat on January 12. According to the Telegraph, the Sonepat police officials have alleged that “a police team was attacked with sticks when they reached the site and some policemen sustained injuries in the incident.”
Jail authorities have not allowed Nodeep’s family to meet her. “I have only met her once, the day she was sent to jail. I was not allowed to meet her,” her sister Rajveer Kaur told SabrangIndia. The jail authorities had told her that as Covid protocols were in place family meetings were not allowed anymore. “I managed to speak to her whenever she was allowed a short phone call, every 4-5 days, today (Friday February 12,),” said Rajveer.
Important aspects of Nodeep’s arrest may be read here.
CJP has moved an online petition to highlight how the young activist was allegedly assaulted in Karnal jail. The petition demands her immediate release and dropping of all trumped up charges against her. Further, CJP also urged those who sign the petition, to write to the Karnal jail authorities and protest the atrocities against the Dalit, trade union activist. The petition has since been shared by actor Sushant Singh and child rights activist Harish Iyer. Those who want to sign the petition may click here.
Nodeep’s sister Rajveer, who is fighting to get justice along with a team of lawyers, had raised the pertinent question in an exclusive interview to SabrangIndia in January: Why was Dalit labour rights activist, Nodeep Kaur, arrested from Singhu Border? It is yet to be answered by the Haryana government and Haryana Police.