Labour activist Nodeep Kaur granted bail

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Nodeep Kaur
By Asia Samachar Team | INDIA |

Labour activities Nodeep Kaur finally gets bail after being picked up the Indian police in Jan 12. In the course of arrest, they have been allegations that she had been denied medical attention and tortured.

The bail comes as the Indian farmers continue their protests nationwide to urge the Indian government to repeal three agriculture laws passed late last year.

The bail also comes after another sensational arrest and bailing of yet another young activist in connection to the farmers’ protest. On Feb 23, a Delhi court granted bail to climate activist Disha Ravi days after the Delhi Police arrested her for allegedly editing a social media document, or toolkit, about the ongoing farmer protest against three central laws. The bail came 10 days after she was picked up in a case that had sparked outrage in India and abroad.

“Nodeep Kaur and Disha Ravi, young female activists jailed for supporting the farmer protests in India, were granted bail. I want to believe it’s in part because so many people spoke out against the government’s silencing dissent. Please stay loud — this fight is far from over,” tweeted Meena Harris, the niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris, who had earlier also highlighted the issue.

In Nodeep’s case, the Dalit labour activist was arrested by the Haryana Police under charges of extortion and attempt to murder on Jan 12. She was granted bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court today (Feb 26) when it came up for hearing before the bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan.

Apart from the bail plea, the HC had also taken suo-moto cognizance after it received an email regarding Kaur’s alleged illegal confinement by the Haryana Police, reports The Indian Express.

Kaur, currently lodged at Karnal jail, contended before the HC through her counsel, advocates R S Cheema, Arshdeep Singh Cheema and Harinder Deep Singh Bains, that she had been falsely arraigned as accused in the FIR dated January 12, registered at Kundli Police Station in Sonipat. On Friday, the counsels of Kaur argued that IPC 307 (attempt to murder) and other serious sections were not made out, the report added.

In her petition, Kaur, a member of the Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, claimed 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.

She also claimed she was physically assaulted in police as well as judicial custody after her arrest by the Sonipat police in January. She further claimed her medical examination was not conducted, in violation of Section 54 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

In court, the Haryana Police had denied the allegations, saying Kaur had not raised any such matter either in front of the medical officer or the chief judicial magistrate (CJM). The police also submitted that Kaur had made a “proactive speech” stating they would “attack police”, before her arrest.

Justice Avneesh Jhingan had on Wednesday adjourned the hearing on the bail plea to today after the Haryana Police failed to submit a medical report to the court. “She (Kaur) was medically examined but the said report has not been placed on record by the State, rather only a medico-legal report under Section 54 CrPC is placed on record,” Justice Avneesh Jhingan said.

Kaur, 24, is charged in three cases, including attempt to murder and extortion. She has already been granted bail in the other two cases. Advocate Cheema said the trial court had already accepted her bail plea in the other two FIRs, numbered 649 and 26. The HC Friday granted Kaur bail in FIR number 25, which is also registered at PS Kundli.

Nodeep’s sister Rajvir had earlier told The Indian Express: “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.”

In a separate report yesterday, The Indian Express reported that a co-accused in Nodeep’s case had suffered multiple injuries.

A report by the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Chandigarh, submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday, has said that a medical examination of Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan president Shiv Kumar, 24, showed multiple injuries, including at least two fractures on his left hand and right foot, “caused by blunt object/ weapon”. The injuries are “more than two weeks old”, says the report.

Kumar was arrested on January 16, four days after co-accused Nodeep Kaur was picked up.

In its case history, the report says Kumar alleged that “the police tied both his feet, lay him on the ground, and hit him on the soles. His second, third and fifth toe nails of the right foot were torn and the nail of the big toe of his left foot became blue. They also hit him on the buttocks with flat sticks, then they tied his hands and stretched his legs. He was made to lie on the ground with both legs straight and a metal pipe was placed on his thigh and rolled over the thighs by two people. They also hit him on both hands and palms and on the back of his head.”

 

RELATED STORY:

Climate activist Disha Ravi arrested over Greta ‘toolkit’ on farmer protest (Asia Samachar, 14 Feb 2021)

 

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