Actress-Activist, Arrested During Citizenship Law Protests, Denied Bail

Activist Sadaf Jafar was arrested during massive protests against the amended Citizenship Act in Lucknow.

Actress-Activist, Arrested During Citizenship Law Protests, Denied Bail

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had demanded Sadaf Jafar's release.


A court in Lucknow on Monday rejected the bail plea of jailed social activist Sadaf Jafar who was arrested during a massive protest against the citizenship law.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Sudesh Kumar said she is not entitled to bail as the "offences under which she has been booked" are serious in nature.

Earlier in the day, Uttar Pradesh Congress leaders met the activist in jail and alleged that she was being given worse treatment than "third degree" by the police.

"She (Zafar) was beaten brutally by the police. She was hit on her back and her hair was pulled," Congress state president Ajay Kumar Lallu told news agency PTI.

Accompanied by Congress Legislative Party leader Aradhana Shukla Mona, Mr Lallu demanded a "high level judicial probe" into the matter.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had on Sunday demanded Sadaf Zafar's immediate release.

In a tweet on Sunday, Priyanka Gandhi had said, "Our party worker Sadaf Zafar was telling the cops to catch unruly elements, but the UP Police beat her up badly and arrested her. She has two children. This is high-handedness (jyaadtee) and this type of oppression will not work."

Sadaf Jafar, who is also a Congress spokesperson, was arrested while she was live on Facebook from the spot where the protests had gone violent.

In Facebook videos widely shared on social media, Sadaf Jafar was heard saying, "Why are you not stopping them? When there is violence, you are standing and watching the show. What is the use of the helmet? Why aren't you doing anything?"

In another video, in which her face is not visible but her voice can be heard, she is heard saying, "Why are you arresting me? Why didn't you arrest the people who were pelting stones?"

When contacted, Sadaf Jafar's sister Nahid Verma said she did not want to say anything on the matter and that Congress leaders met her sister on Monday and "they can tell better".

"My sister Sadaf has been arrested. Totally uncalled for and cowardly action of the police! They have slapped charges like sabotage and attempt to murder on her while she was reporting live on how police was complicit in sabotage at the dharna!" she has posted.

"None of us were informed or apparently allowed her to talk to her family. The children are freaking out with worry and so are we," she added.