Nodeep Kaur’s ‘illegal confinement’: Punjab and Haryana HC take suo motu cognisance

The court directed the matter of the arrest of the Dalit activist to be listed in the urgent list and issued notice of motion to the State


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 on February 12.

The order read: “Complaints dated 06.02.2021 (February 6) and 08.02.2021 (February 8) have been received through e-mail regarding illegal confinement of Nodeep Kaur, Dalit Labour Activist by the Haryana Police and under the orders of Hon’ble Mr. Justice Jaswant Singh have been treated as Criminal Writ Petition and ordered to be listed on judicial side”.

Issuing “notice of motion to the State of Haryana”, the Single-judge Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court listed the matter for hearing on February 24, 2021. The State of Haryana is expected to file a reply/status report till then.

On January 12, 2021, the Haryana Police reached her tent and arrested Nodeep Kaur at Singhu Border, where she was agitating with other farmers against the laws. On February 2, Kaur who has been lodged in Karnal Jail, was denied bail by Sessions Court, Sonipat, Haryana as it held that the charges against her were serious. Her family has also claimed that she is being tortured and sexually assaulted in custody.

She has been charged under sections 148 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 332 (causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (assault on public servant), 186 (Obstructing public servant), 384 (extortion), 379-B (snatching and use of force), and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

SabrangIndia has been closely monitoring the matter. Previously, Nodeep’s sister Rajveer had told us, “She was beaten by male police officers, she was hit on the back, on her private parts. She was arrested on January 12, and we reached the police station [late that night] but were told she had been sent to Karnal. There, the next day, I found out that she had been tortured, they did not even give her the medicines we had handed over. The SHO wanted to show her as a gang leader, she is just 23 years old, has completed her class 12 and was planning to apply to the Delhi university as an undergraduate. She is being framed and we will fight that.”

Nodeep recently turned 24, spending her birthday behind bars.

CJP had also started an online petition on February 5 addressed to the Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Ravi Shankar Jha, seeking her immediate release and dropping of all charges. Nodeep Kaur had been sitting on a peaceful protest at Singhu with a group of factory workers from Kundli Industrial Area, in solidarity with the dissenting farmers. The workers have also been facing similar problems like the farmers, and have alleged they have been exploited by employers, their wages withheld, and jobs taken away. This has increased since they began to support the farmers movement.

The detention and the alleged torture of Kaur sparked social media debate and uproar and gained attention after Meena Harris, the niece of United States Vice President Kamala Harris, tweeted about her release.

Significantly, Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi also directed the matter to be shown on the “urgent list”.

The order may be read here:


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