Chandigarh, February 14: Taking suo motu cognizance of emails it received alleging “illegal confinement” of Dalit labour activist Nodeep Kaur, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued notice of motion to the state of Haryana.
The bench of Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi ordered that the matter be shown in the urgent list and adjourned it for hearing on February 24, The Indian Express reported.
Ranvir Singh Arya, Additional Advocate General of Haryana, who was present during the video conferencing, accepted the notice on behalf of the respondent-state and sought time to file a reply/status report. The HC directed the registry to supply a copy of the petition to the state counsel.
In the order, Justice Tyagi said, “Complaints dated February 6, 2021, and February 8, 2021, have been received through e-mail regarding illegal confinement of Nodeep Kaur, Dalit labour activist, by the Haryana Police and, under the orders of Justice Jaswant Singh, have been treated as criminal writ petition and ordered to be listed on judicial side.”
In the complaints sent through e-mail, the complainants have not mentioned their address or other relevant particulars, said Justice Tyagi.
The emails called for Kaur’s release from the “illegal confinement” of Haryana Police and a judicial inquiry into her “harassment”.
Kaur (23), a member of the Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, is facing three cases, including charges of attempt to murder and extortion. She was arrested in January for allegedly gheraoing an industrial unit and demanding money from the company in Sonepat, as per the Haryana Police.
Nodeep’s sister Rajvir had earlier told The Indian Express: “Nodeep joined the (farmers’) protest at Singhu in November. She was also fighting for labourers who didn’t get wages regularly. On January 12, she was protesting near a factory in Kundli when police picked her up… I met her and she told me cops assaulted her in custody.”
Sonepat police have denied the allegations “being circulated on social media platforms about illegal detention and harassment”, and have termed them an “afterthought”.
They further claimed she was then taken to the Civil Hospital, where she underwent a “general medical examination” and a “special medical examination by a lady doctor for sexual assault where she herself gave a written statement… that she doesn’t want to be medically examined as she had not been assaulted”.