Release Dalit Trade Union Activist Nodeep Kaur

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Demand: 

Dalit activist Nodeep Kaur has been in jail for over a month, denied bail, and has allegedly been assaulted in Karnal jail.

CJP through this petition demands her immediate release, and that the trumped up charges against her be dropped.

We also urge that each person who signs this petition, also writes to the Karnal jail authorities protesting the atrocities against this prisoner.

Letters can be sent to:
Amit Kumar,
Superintendent,
District Jail, Karnal,
Mustafabad, Karnal,
Haryana - 132036

Who is Nodeep Kaur?

A 23-year-old Dalit, trade union activist, Nodeep Kaur hails from Punjab. Kaur is an activist with the Majdoor Adhikar Sangathan (MAS) and was participating in the farmers' agitation at Singhu border. On January 12, the Haryana Police came to her tent and arrested Nodeep.

Breaking all laws, she was manhandled and allegedly assaulted by men police officers before being sent to judicial custody. She has since been in custody, her bail plea been rejected by a Haryana court, which stated that the allegations against Nodeep are serious in nature: "Investigation is still at initial stage and remaining accused have not been arrested as yet. In view of gravity of offence, applicant does not deserve concession of bail and bail application is dismissed," the order stated, adding,  she "provoked the mob accompanying her, who launched an attack upon the police officials.”

Nodeep Kaur was at Singhu with a group of factory workers from Kundli Industrial Area, in solidarity with the dissenting farmers. The workers are also facing similar problems like the farmers, and have alleged they have been exploited by employers,their wages have been withheld, and jobs taken away. This has increased since they began to support the farmers movement. They have also alleged that they have been targeted by the armed guards of the Kundli Industrial Association and the Haryana Police.

What are the charges against Nodeep?

Nodeep faces two FIRs:

No. 649 dated 28.12.2020, under Sections 148, 149, 323, 384, 506 IPC Police Station Kundli;

and FIR No. 26 dated 12.01.2021 under Sections 148, 149, 323, 384, 452, 506 IPC Police Station Kundli, Sonipat.

These allegations accuse her of extortion, rioting while armed, unlawful assembly, assaulting a public servant, extortion, intimidation and attempt to murder. Her sister has said these are “all false charges, she is being framed” because she is a part of labour unions, works for the rights of labourers. And she had been active in bringing over 1,500 labourers to march in support of the farmers movement.

This is an attempt to drown the voices of dissent, frame them under false charges, so they do not ask questions. It is alleged that in the Kundli Industrialist Association, no labour law is obeyed. Labourers are made to work, but allegedly not paid their wages, and are fired at will. Whoever raises their voice is targeted. Labourers and workers who are supporting the farmers are also being fired. Nodeep Kaur was fired from her job even before she was arrested, because she was going to support the farmers at Singhu. 

Who is speaking up for Nodeep?

Her sister Rajveer Kaur, a university student, has been raising her voice for Nodeep. Rajveer has alleged that Haryana Police have targeted Nodeep and assaulted her in custody, including sexual assault. She says targeting Nodeep is another example of the State’s efforts to discredit and malign the farmers and workers movement, and break solidarity it has forged with the worker unions. She says, “Nodeep is just 23, and works for the rights of fellow workers. She started working after her class 12th. Our mother is an activist with the Punjab Khet Union, and lives in Muktsar. As a family, we always stand up whenever we feel something is going wrong.” Rajveer is currently the only person allowed to visit Nodeep in Karnal jail.


Allegations against Haryana police 

It has been alleged that Nodeep is being framed, and she was beaten by male police officers, she was hit on the back, on her private parts. She was arrested on January 12, the family alleged she was “beaten up in custody” and was “given medicines” they had handed over. Nodeep is said to be in the same jail where she was allegedly assaulted by police.


What next?

Nodeep Kaur's family may soon move the High Court seeking justice.