Labour rights activist Nodeep Kaur on Friday said that she will join the farmers’ protest against the new agricultural laws at Singhu border, NDTV reported. “I will definitely go to Singhu, sit with farmers,” she said, upon her release from Karnal Jail late in the evening. “I have not done anything illegal in the past and will not do anything illegal in the future and will always stand for the people.”
Earlier in the day, the Punjab and Haryana High Court granted bail to Kaur. She was arrested on January 12 for mobilising workers near the Singhu border, the epicentre of the farmer protest against the three new agricultural laws. The Dalit activist and her colleagues staged a demonstration in the Kundli industrial area, near Singhu, outside a factory that had not paid its workers their wages.
Speaking on Shiv Kumar, another activist who was arrested along with her, Kaur said that his condition was very bad and he has not been shifted to a hospital despite orders of doing so. “He wasn’t even there on the 12th [January], yet he was arrested and thrashed brutally.”
A medical report has shown that Kumar has sustained eight injuries that are more than two weeks old. The court had on February 19 directed the superintendent of Sonipat Jail to have Kumar examined at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, after his father Rajbir alleged that the jailed activist was “subjected to police torture”.
Kaur also spoke about the agitating farmers and said that people should speak out in favour of their demands. “The farmers are sitting on protest sites, leaving their fields,” she said. “Nobody likes to sit on the streets if not for their demands. So, people should speak out in their favour so that a resolution is reached.”
Meanwhile, her sister Rajvir Kaur said that the fight was still on as many activists were still in jail, PTI reported. “We have not won this fight,” she said, according to PTI. “How can we win this fight till the time activists like Shiv Kumar, Umar Khalid [accused in Delhi riots’ conspiracy case], Khalid Saifi [booked under UAPA in Delhi riots case]...The list is very long, are inside jails? They all are our country’s true leaders.”
She was speaking at the Press Club of India in Delhi during a public meeting, marking a year since the arrest of Saifi and Ishrat Jahan, both booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, in a case related to the communal violence in northeast Delhi in February last year.