Nodeep Kaur, a 23-year-old Dalit labourer and trade union activist from Punjab who has been behind bars in Haryana since last month, got bail today in one of the cases filed against her. The activist had got bail in another case last week. A petition requesting bail in the third case was also filed today in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. She will remain in jail until she gets bail in the third case as well.
Ms Kaur has been granted bails in FIR number 26 and 649. The petition for bail in FIR number 25 - in which she is charged with attempt to murder - was filed today in Punjab and Haryana High Court. The hearing is expected after a week, sources said.
The activist was arrested on January 12 when she had joined a protest by labourers at Haryana's Kundli. She has been charged under sections that deal with attempt to murder, extortion, theft, rioting, unlawful assembly, extortion and criminal intimidation.
The arrest of Ms Kaur - who comes from a family linked with activism - has drawn international criticism. Several public figures, including US Vice-President Kamala Harris's niece Meena Harris, have spoken in her support.
"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," Meena Harris, a lawyer and author, had tweeted on February 6.
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. pic.twitter.com/Ypt2h1hWJz— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) February 5, 2021
Earlier this week, Nodeep Kaur's sister Rajveer Kaur had refuted the charges levelled against the activist.
"The government is afraid of the unity of workers of farmers and that is why my sister is being targeted," Rajveer Kaur had 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.
The police have denied the charges.