Labor Activist Nodeep Kaur Denied Bail, Family To Appeal to High Court
Labor activist Nodeep Kaur’s family say they will approach Punjab and Haryana High Courts after a sessions court in Sonipat, Haryana denied her bail. Kaur’s next bail hearing with the sessions court will happen today.
Kaur, a member of the Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, had joined the current farmer’s protest at the Singhu border in November and began a parallel movement to draw attention to worker rights.
Kaur’s arrest has drawn attention across the nation and the world due to allegations of sexual assault in custody. Her lawyer, Jitendar Kumar, claimed that a medical examination conducted after her arrest revealed wounds on her body and private parts that point to sexual assault. Rajvir Kaur, her sister, also stated that the activist told her she was assaulted in custody.
Kaur was arrested by the Sonipat police on January 12 while protesting near a factory in Kundli, Haryana. She was charged under three non-bailable Sections of the Indian Penal Code — 307 (attempt to murder), 384 (extortion), and 379 (theft). The police say members of the Sangathan were trying to break into the factory to extort money under the garb of unpaid workers’ salaries. She also faces a second FIR under Section 148 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 384 (extortion), and 506 (criminal intimidation).
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In the hearing, Sessions Court Judge YS Rathor said, “In view of the gravity of offense, the applicant does not deserve concession of bail and bail application is dismissed.”
The Sonipat Police have denied and dismissed all allegations of assault. They claim that Kaur was, “kept in the ladies waiting room and “accompanied by two female police personnel for the entire duration of her stay.” They also claim that she underwent a general medical examination and an examination for sexual assault at a hospital and that Kaur submitted a written statement saying did not want to be examined as she had not been assaulted.