Jagjot Kaur: Nodeep Kaur's Fight Is Far From Over

Nodeep Kaur is a 24-year-old Sikh, Dalit woman, and activist who has survived the inside of a system built to destroy her

Jagjot Kaur
February 27, 2021 | 4 min. read

As Nodeep Kaur walked out of Karnal Jail last night in Chardikala, after being granted bail in FIR 25/2021 by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, she was greeted with roaring Jakare and Sarope. 

The smile on her face is one I will never forget. 

Just moments after her release, Nodeep Kaur spoke to the media. “The fight is far from over”, she said, as she sincerely thanked every individual across the globe who demanded and protested for her immediate release. 

On January 12, 2021, Haryana Police arrived at the Majdoor Adhikar Sangathan tent at Singhu Border and abducted Nodeep Kaur. 

She was booked in three FIRs under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Her alleged crimes ranged from rioting while armed with a deadly weapon to extortion to attempt to murder. 

Yesterday, Nodeep Kaur was granted bail in the third FIR booked against her - for an attempt to murder. Bail was primarily granted based upon a prima facie observation that no evidence exists to corroborate the allegations of an attempt to murder. Nodeep Kaur’s bail hearings were repeatedly adjourned and rescheduled because Haryana Police failed to present the required medical documentation. 

In the last six weeks, Nodeep Kaur has been physically and sexually assaulted while under the custody of Haryana Police. In a medical examination conducted on January 25, 2021, doctors at Sonipat Civil Hospital confirmed there were wounds on Nodeep Kaur’s body and private parts. 

Her lawyer, Arshdeep Singh Cheema, pointed out in the Punjab and Haryana High Court that her first medical examination was done 13 days after her arrest by Haryana Police. “By that time, most of the injuries were either healing or had already healed. The medical report clearly shows that she was beaten up while in police custody.” 

It should be noted that the magistrate had ordered Nodeep Kaur’s medical examination on January 18, 2021, five days after her arrest. However, she was taken for medical examination on January 25, 2021, with the intention to allow her injuries to heal. 

Upon her release, Nodeep Kaur confirmed she had been brutally abducted, assaulted, and tortured by Haryana Police. In the coming days, she will be sharing her story in detail via a press conference. 

The bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan of the Punjab and Haryana High Court will address all custodial violence against Nodeep Kaur at the next hearing in April, under suo motu cognisance.

In the interview by NDTV, Nodeep Kaur highlighted the case of Shiv Kumar, an activist who was arrested alongside her on January 12, 2021 from Singhu border. According to the medical examination conducted on February 20, 2021, doctors at Government Medical College and Hospital confirmed Shiv Kumar suffered multiple fractures, torn toenails, and was “mentally and physically abused in the police remand.” Nodeep Kaur described the severity of Shiv Kumar’s condition and stated, “he has not been shifted to a hospital despite court orders of doing so.”

Nodeep Kaur expressed that she plans to immediately return to the Singhu border and continue to protest alongside farmers and laborers. “The farmers are sitting on protest sites, leaving their fields. Nobody likes to sit on the streets if not for their demands. People must speak out in their favor until a resolution is reached.” 

Nodeep Kaur encouraged all youth to take to the streets and protest against Modi’s three farm bills. The targeted abduction, assault, and torture of Nodeep Kaur were weaponized by the Government of India to malign the protest against Modi and specifically, impede the growing unity between farmers and laborers. 

We are relieved that our sister, Nodeep Kaur, has been released, but her bail is an incomplete victory. 

The harsh reality of her case is that:

1) Nodeep Kaur was abducted, assaulted, and tortured by Haryana Police

2) Nodeep Kaur had to be granted bail in three FIRs for crimes she did not commit. 

The Government of India, the Judiciary of India, KIA, and Haryana Police are complicit. The system in its entirety is complicit. Victory will be the uprooting of a system that thrives and profits off of the exploitation, incarceration, and mistreatment of its minorities and especially, Sikh women. 

Nodeep Kaur is a 24-year-old Sikh, Dalit woman, and activist who has survived the inside of a system built to destroy her. 

However, as Nodeep Kaur stated yesterday, “the fight is far from over”. 

On January 28, 2021, a women’s tent was attacked at Singhu border by BJP goons. Ranjit Singh, a 22-year-old from Nawanshahr, Punjab, defended these women, and consequently, he was dragged into the street by his hair, mercilessly beaten, and arrested by Delhi Police.  

He, along with 43 farmers, was arrested and booked in FIRs under sections of the IPC. Ranjit Singh’s alleged crimes range from rioting while armed with a deadly weapon to obstructing a public official to attempt to murder. He is being held under the custody of Delhi Police at Tihar Jail. When Ranjit Singh was given a Gutka Sahib by his lawyer he declared, “Khalsa is in Chardikala.” 

DSGMC, SAD, and many independent Sikh lawyers are working diligently towards his release. 

Hundreds of farmers, laborers, activists, and journalists remain in jail and I ask you all to demand their immediate release.

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Jagjot Kaur is a second-year medical student in New York, she hails from Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab. You can find Jagjot Kaur on Twitter @jagjotkaur_.


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