Demands are growing for the release of actress-activist Sadaf Jafar, who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police in Lucknow during last week’s protest against the amended Citizenship Act. Filmmaker Mira Nair took to Twitter to demand her immediate release while Jafar’s family alleged torture by the state police.
Nair wrote, “This is our India now – Appalling: our #SuitableBoy actress, Sadaf Jafar, beaten and jailed for peaceful protest in Lucknow! Join me in demanding her release.”
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too demanded the immediate release of her party worker. She tweeted, “Our woman party worker Sadaf Jafar was asking the police to arrest the rioters and the Uttar Pradesh Police mercilessly beat her up and arrested her. She’s a mother of two small children. This is completely unjust. Such atrocities can’t be tolerated.”
Her subsequent tweet read, “Immediately release our worker.”
Jafar was reportedly picked up by the police while she was broadcasting Facebook Live on the protests against the amended Citizenship Act from Lucknow.
Jafar was doing her Facebook Live where she could be heard asking cops to arrest the rioters. Suddenly, a woman cop can be heard informing her about her arrest. “Chaliye aap bhi chaliye. Inko le chalo.” Jafar kept asking, “How can you arrest me? Those who pelted stones, you could not arrest them.”
The woman cop replied, “As if those stone pelters were with us.” Jafar replied, “Who knows.”
Jafar’s family has alleged torture by the police. “I saw her in so much pain. She was hurting because she was beaten with batons, kicked in belly… she had started bleeding,” her sister Naheed was quoted by NDTV.
— UP POLICE (@Uppolice) December 22, 2019
The police have denied allegations of torture and said that they had enough evidence against Jafar’s involvement in the protests. The Lucknow Police released a video statement of one of its officers denying allegations of torture.