Nodeep Kaur, the 23-year-old labour rights activist who was released on bail on Friday following global outrage, told NDTV that she will visit the Singhu border near Delhi where farmers have been protesting against the centre’s agricultural laws for three months and join the demonstration.
“I will discuss with my family what to do next. I will definitely go to Singhu, sit with farmers. 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,” she said.
She also spoke about Shiv Kumar, another Dalit activist who was arrested with her. “Shiv Kumar’s condition is very bad. He wasn’t even there on the 12th (January). Yet he was arrested and thrashed brutally. He has not been shifted to a hospital despite orders,” Ms Kaur said.
Nodeep Kaur was arrested around six weeks ago during a protest by workers outside a factory on the outskirts of Delhi.
Her arrest triggered a storm of criticism with supporters alleging she was sexually assaulted and tortured in custody. Police have strongly denied the allegations and say Ms Kaur attacked policemen with sticks.
The police have accused Ms Kaur, who belongs to the Dalit community, of unlawful assembly, attempted murder and extortion.
She had also been participating in the farmers’ protest against the central government’s new agricultural reforms that emerged as a major challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi late last year.
Her case gained international attention on February 6 when Meena Harris, niece of US Vice-President Kamala Harris, tweeted saying, “23-year-old labour rights activist Nodeep Kaur was arrested, tortured and sexually assaulted in police custody.”
Taking up complaints about her alleged illegal detention on its own, the Punjab and Haryana High Court also issued notice to the Haryana government.