A 23-year-old Dalit laborer and Punjab trade union leader woman is still behind prison with refused bail for a month now. On January 12, Naudeep Kaur was jailed when she participated in a rally by workers in Haryana’s Kundli. The young lady has been in the custody of police without bail for almost a month and has reportedly experienced sexual and psychological harassment while in jail.
After tweets from Meena Harris, the niece of US Vice-President Kamala Harris, the issue received momentum. After the topic was highlighted by pop star Rihanna, a lawyer and author Meena Harris was one of the celebrities expressing support for the protesting farmers.
On Saturday, Ms. Harris posted on Twitter, a photo of posters demanding the release of Naudeep Kaur, juxtaposed with pictures of a mob destroying posters of stars. These were the stars who, after posting about the farmers’ protest, had drawn media attention.
More About The Woman Behind The Bars:
Activist woman, Navdeep Kaur worked for a company in the Kundli Industrial Area in Sonipat. It is about 3 km from the border between Delhi and Haryana, where farmers have also been protesting for two months and more.
With a family background of activism—her parents are members of farmers’ unions in Punjab. Her sister is a student activist at Delhi University. She entered a trade union named “Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan” which worked to protect labor rights.
The woman was expelled in under four months. On 12 January, when they tussled with the police, she was organizing protests in the Kundli industrial area with 20 others seeking salaries.
Naudeep Kaur was later arrested and charged with murder, extortion, stealing, rioting, unlawful assembly, extortion, and criminal intimidation.
Denying all the charges, Rajveer Kaur, Naudeep Kaur’s niece, accused the police of custodial torture and sexual harassment of her sister.
“The government is afraid of the unity of workers of farmers and that is why my sister is being targeted,” Rajveer Kaur told reporters. “She has been beaten up in the police station by male staff and has even been sexually assaulted. There are injuries in her private parts. There should be strict action”. She added.
“We have filed an application in the court regarding complaints of assault against her. The court has ordered a medical examination. But we are yet to receive that report,” said lawyer Jitendra Kumar. She is representing Naudeep Kaur.
“The activists’ attack upon the police resulted in injuries to seven personnel, including a woman constable,” said Sonepat police in a statement issued on Saturday.
“The allegations of sexual assault seem to be an afterthought and the police department clearly negates them. Also, Kaur was constantly in the presence of two women personnel,” the statement by Police added.