Despite widespread outrage over the arrest of actress, politician and activist Sadaf Jafar during Thursday's massive protest against the amended Citizenship Act in Lucknow and allegations of severe assault in the custody, the police have claimed that they have "enough proof" against her.
Ms Jafar was arrested from Lucknow's Parivartan Chowk where a government bus, media vans and private vehicles were set on fire after the protests spiraled out of control. She was live on Facebook, showing the destruction in the area, when cops caught her.
In the video that she shared on Facebook, Ms Jafar is heard asking why only a few cops were on duty in the area despite a huge turnout of protesters.
A woman constable can be seen forcefully grabbing her. "Aap mujhe kaise giraftaar kar rahe hain... jinhone pathar phenka hai unko to tum pakad nahin paaye (Why are you arresting me.... Those who were throwing stones, you could not arrest them)," she can be heard asking the cop. "Tumhare saath they na woh buddhe (Those old men were with you. Weren't they?)", the constable then asks her.
Ms Jafar's family has alleged that she was taken to a police station in the area, assaulted by cops and then sent to the prison after a medical examination. "I saw her in so much pain. She was hurting because she was beaten with batons, kicked in belly... she had started bleeding," her sister Naheed said in a statement after visiting her in prison.
The UP Police have denied assault and said they have "enough proof" against her. "She was with the rioters and we arrested her from the site of protest. We followed protocol and got her medical test done. We have enough proof against her and allegations against the police are baseless," senior police officer Suresh Chandra Rawat said in a statement released on Twitter.
Acclaimed director Mira Nair also demanded the release of "A Suitable Boy" actress. "This is our India now - Appalling: our #SuitableBoy actress, Sadaf Jafar, beaten and jailed for peaceful protest in Lucknow! Join me in demanding her release," she wrote on Twitter.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also tweeted about her arrest, accusing the police of oppression. "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 (zyaadtee) and this type of oppression will not work," she tweeted last night.
Among others arrested in Lucknow over Thursday's clashes include Mohd Shoaib, a 76-year-old human rights lawyer, and SR Darapuri, a former IPS officer and noted theatre artist Deepak Kabir.
Multiple reports have emerged of the police picking up bystanders in the protests and those who were protesting peacefully.
"My brother, 22-year-old Faiz Ahmed Khan, was picked up by the police along with two other friends - Syed Fahad and Mohd Saifal - when he was returning from the protests at the Parivartan Chowk in Lucknow on Thursday. He and his friends were demonstrating peacefully. They did not resort to any violence . When they were returning, a policeman asked them for their names. They were then forcibly arrested... they had no stones or any weapon on them. We are trying to get legal help," said Noor Saba, sister of one of the protesters.