Home » News » “Beaten and Sexually Assaulted in Police Custody”, Dalit Activist Nodeep Kaur to Move HC after Two Bail Rejections

Nodeep Kaur, a Dalit Labour activist and a member of Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan (MAS) has decided to move Punjab and Haryana High Court after being denied bail twice. Kaur has been in jail for almost a month.

23-year old Dalit activist was arrested on January 12 while she was demonstrating in front of metal-cutting firm Sharan Elecmech in Haryana’s Kundli Industrial Area against the unstable wage payment. She was booked under the charges of attempt to murder, extortion, and other offences. She has also participated in the ongoing largest protest, i.e. Farmers’ protest at Singhu border.

Her arrest got global attention after American lawyer, author, and niece of US Vice-President, Kamala Harris took up Kaur’s cause and tweeted, “Weird to see a photo of yourself burned by an extremist mob but imagine what they would do if we lived in India. I’ll tell you—23 yo labor rights activist Nodeep Kaur was arrested, tortured & sexually assaulted in police custody. She’s been detained without bail for over 20 days.”

Author and poet Rupi Kaur also shared a video of Nodeep Kaur and tweeted, “on january 12—haryana police abducted nodeep kaur from her tent at singhu protest. since then she has been beaten & sexually assaulted while under police custody. nodeep is 23 yold punjabi dalit woman & trade union activist who has been bravely speaking up about the protests.”

Sonipat police booked her on January 12 and charged her under Section 307 (attempt to murder), Section 384 (extortion), and Section 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code. Another FIR was registered against her under Section 148 (rioting), Section 149 (unlawful assembly), Section 384 (extortion), and Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC.

She was denied bail by a session court in Haryana on February 2. “In view of the gravity of offense, the applicant does not deserve concession of bail and bail application is dismissed,” Justice YS Rathor. The next bail hearing will take place today i.e. on February 8.

Nodeep’s sister, Rajvir Kaur alleged that her sister has been assaulted in police custody. “Nodeep joined the [farmers’] protest at Singhu in November. She was also fighting for labourers who didn’t get wages regularly. On January 12, she was protesting near a factory in Kundli when police picked her up. I met her and she told me cops assaulted her in custody,” said Rajvir.

Nodeep’s lawyer, Jitendar Kumar has submitted that the medical examination report has also confirmed the assault. “The medical report revealed wounds on her body and private parts. “This points to the fact that Nodeep was sexually assaulted in police custody,” said Kumar.

While Sonipat police denied all the allegations of illegal detention and harassment and termed them as ‘afterthought’. The police also said that Kaur was kept in a waiting room of the police station and two female police personnel during Kaur’s entire stay.

Police also stated, “She herself gave a written statement that she doesn’t want to be medically examined as she had not been assaulted.” Sonipat police also told that prior to being taken to Karnal jail, Kaur had not mentioned about any assault before she was produced before Chief Judicial Magistrate.

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