Showing exceptional fighting spirit, social activist Sadaf Jafar – who was badly beaten up by the UP police and who has been lodged behind bars in this numbing chill for taking part in anti-CAA protest in Lucknow – has reiterated her resolve to fight against discriminatory CAA.
Delivering her message to the countrymen through her lawyers and friends who met her in Hazratganj jail, Lucknow, Jafar conveyed: “Whether I get bail or not, fight against CAA must continue.”
Jafar was arrested on December 19 from Parivartan Chowk, Lucknow where she reached to protest against the CAA that, for the first time, seeks to make religion a test for citizenship of India. She was live on Facebook when male cops reportedly thrashed her.
An FIR registered in Hazratganj police station names Jafar along with 33 other protesters, charged with 18 offences under various sections of IPC, including 307 (attempt to murder), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc) 506 (criminal intimidation), 504 (intent to provoke breach of the peace) among others.
Dismissing the charges framed against Jafar, her lawyers termed the FIR filed by the UP police as “vendetta”.
UP Congress chief Ajay Singh Lallu was among first who visited Jafar inside jail. “She has been framed under false charges. She was beaten up by policemen. The male cops also manhandled her. Police have booked some innocent people, including Sadaf,” said Lallu after meeting her.
Lawyer and Congress spokesperson Pradeep Singh who met Jafar twice, first on December 21 and again on December 22 along with UPCC chief Ajay Singh Lallu told National Herald she was in very bad state of health when he saw her inside jail.
“Bruises on her left eye, right hand and neck were visible even after two days when I met her in the jail,” said Singh. “She was tortured and beaten up by male police,” asserted Singh, adding that policemen removed their nameplates so that they could not be identified.
However, as per Singh, Jafar has told him about a policeman named Vimal who was very enthusiastically hurling slurs and beating those who were protesting against CAA.
Amir Naqvi, who is also representing Jafar, told NH that the bail application has been filed in the district court, following rejection by the CJM. He said matter has been listed for hearing on January 3, 2020. “She is recovering but the process is slow as she is not getting adequate facilities inside jail,” he added.
It is important to note here that Jafar was arrested while she was live on Facebook from the spot. Videos widely shared on social media show Jafar was not even shouting slogans.
In one of the videos posted on Facebook she can be heard saying, “Why are you not stopping them (vandals)? When there is violence, you are standing and watching the show. What is the use of the helmet? Why are you not doing anything?” In another video, in which her face is not visible but her voice is audible, she is heard saying, “Why are you arresting me? Why did not you arrest the people who were pelting stones?”
“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 were complicit in sabotage at the dharna!” Jafar’s sister Nahid posted on Facebook.