I was kicked in stomach by a male cop and called a Pakistani: Actor-activist Sadaf Jafar

Lucknow: Actor-activist Sadaf Jafar, who was arrested last month in Lucknow while she was doing a Facebook Live session during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, alleged torture by police as she walked out of the jail on Tuesday. “I was kicked in stomach by a male cop and called a Pakistani,” she said. Jafar was granted bail last week.
The activist, who was accused of rioting, said she was tortured and abused by cops who had arrested her from a protest at Parivartan Chowk on December 19. “They (cops) abused me. I was slapped by a female cop and then a male officer, who claimed that he was an Inspector General rank officer, also assaulted me. He kicked me in stomach,” she told NDTV.
The actor-activist’s arrest last month had triggered widespread outrage. Among those who had called for her release were Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi and filmmaker Mira Nair.
Last few weeks in police custody “felt like a black hole,” she said today. “Anybody who came looking for me at Hazratganj police station was also being detained…. It was like a black hole,” she recalled.
“I wasn’t offered a blanket or food,” she said, adding that several innocent people were arrested amid protests against the citizenship law protests in the city. She said she would fight for them too.
Jafar’s lawyer Harjot Singh has said she has been “falsely implicated” in the case of rioting. In her bail order last week, the local court judge stated that the Lucknow Police have said “there was no evidence so far of arson or violence against her”.
She told NDTV on Tuesday that that it’s a “long fight ahead”. “Anybody who believes in democracy will fight against all that’s happening,” Jafar said, adding that she would also fight against the attachment of property.
Violent protests had broken out across Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere in the country after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill sailed through both houses of parliament last month. Over 25 have died in the protests across the country.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act for the first time makes religion the test of citizenship in India. The government says it will help minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries to get citizenship if they fled to India before 2015 because of religious persecution. Critics say it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.