The Allahabad High Court on Thursday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to respond to a petition seeking the quashing of the First Information Report filed against social activist Sadaf Jafar within two weeks, PTI reported.
She was arrested on several charges, including rioting, attempted murder and assault on public servants, during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Lucknow on December 19. A local court had earlier rejected her bail application, saying she was facing serious charges.
A bench of Justices Shabihul Hasnain and Justice Virendra Kumar passed the order on a writ petition filed by Jafar’s friend Naheed Varma. The court, however, declined to direct jail authorities to provide better medical facilities to her. Additional Government Advocate SP Singh claimed she was already being given all the possible treatment.
The petitioner demanded that Jafar should be kept in hygienic conditions, along with warm clothes, mattress and bedding in jail. Varma also urged that the investigation in the case be conducted by an officer of the rank of Superintendent of Police and under court supervision.
The court will next hear the matter in two weeks.
Jafar, who is also a Congress worker, had livestreamed the protest and the police crackdown in a Facebook post, and ended up recording her own arrest. In the footage, she appeared to be observing the aftermath of the protest, weaving her way through crowds of police officers. She was suddenly hauled away, and did not receive any response when she asked the police the reason for her arrest.
Bollywood celebrities Mahesh Bhatt, Swara Bhasker and Sushant Singh had on Thursday demanded her release from jail.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi had last week lashed out at the Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government for arresting Jafar.
At least 19 people have been killed in the state in the past two weeks during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The police have been accused of excesses, with 15 of the 19 deaths caused by firearm injuries. The police in Bijnor district are accused of torturing five minors and other detainees.