Social activist and Congress spokesperson Sadaf Jafar, released on bail Tuesday after her arrest December 19 following the violence in Lucknow during the anti-CAA protests, alleged she was tortured in police custody and called a Pakistani — charges that Lucknow police denied.
“Cops thrashed me, pulled my hair and also kicked me in the stomach and knees. Policemen were continuously abusing me and also called me Pakistani several times,” Sadaf said after stepping out of jail. A single parent, she has two minor children.
Arrested while she was doing a live Facebook session of the protest being held at Parivartan crossing in Lucknow on December 19, Sadaf said: “I was asking cops to act against people involved in the violence. After the situation was brought under control, policemen caught me and started thrashing me with batons. My nightmare started when I was brought to the Hazratganj police station. On reaching there, female cops present at the police station started thrashing me.”
“Later, a policeman took me to another room, saying a senior officer wanted to meet me. I thought the officer would help me and convey my arrest to my family members. After questioning me for some time, the officer asked two female constables to beat me. The constables slapped me twice. Later, a senior police officer came and pulled me by my hair. He then kicked me in the stomach and knees. Not one of the cops present at the police station was wearing a badge,” Sadar said.
“Later, I was taken to another room from where I could hear arrested men screaming. They were being thrashed by policemen,” she said. “At the police station, I felt uneasy as my blood pressure increased. I requested policemen to arrange medicines for me but no one acknowledged. Policemen were abusive and also called me Pakistani. Anybody who came looking for me at Hazratganj police station was also being detained,” she said.
Sadaf stepped out on bail with retired IPS officer S R Darapuri after completing legal formalities. They were in the Lucknow district jail since December 21. They were booked along with 33 others on charges that include IPC sections 307 (attempt to murder), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 147 (rioting) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy).
Darapuri said he would continue his fight against the CAA. “The Lucknow police made all kinds of wrongdoing this time. Cops arrested innocent people and thrashed them in police custody. I was illegally kept in police custody for 36 hours before being sent to jail. Cops did not misbehave with me but I saw policemen beating protesters brutally,” he alleged. Darapuri is national secretary of the All India Peoples’ Front.
“I challenged police to make public all videos of violence they have in their possession. Let everyone know those involved in the violence. I met all persons sent to jail in connection with the December 19 violence. Almost everyone claims he was falsely implicated in the case by police,” he said.
When contacted, Additional Superintendent of Police, East (Lucknow), Suresh Chandra Rawat said allegations levelled by Sadaf Jafar and others were false. “No male policeman touched Sadaf. She was arrested by female police personnel and was not thrashed. Sadaf had undergone a medical check-up and its report stated she had no injury marks. The accused were produced before the court, and no one was detained illegally,” he said.