Release Nodeep

Sangeet Toor
    
Read in Gurmukhi
Nodeep Kaur, from Muktsar in Punjab started working at a bulb factory in Kundli. She soon realised the factory workers were being exploited and therefore started involving herself & voicing her opinions on matters of labour rights. In the recent past, when the protesting farmers made the Kundli-Singhu border their base, she got the factory workers together to join the protesting farmers and strengthen the “Mazdoor Kisan Ekta” narrative. Daughter of a Dalit family, Nodeep started fighting for labour rights against the Kundli Industrial Association of Haryana. As a response to her protests & demands, the Association put together a team of “goons” in the guise of a “response team” and started harassing the workers and Nodeep. The so-called “response team” started threatening & preventing workers from uniting into a protest. At the same time, Nodeep was fired from her job.

The workers who went seeking their pay on 2nd of January, faced gunshots from these goons. They tried to report the incident at the Kundli police station, but the cops refused to file a report. On the 12th of January, once again the workers & Nodeep went to ask for their wages. Once again they were met with violence. The goons lathi charged the workers, ripped women’s clothes. Nodeep was badly beaten and the cops forcefully arrested and took her to the Karnal police station. Her medical examination clearly showed she was tortured and beaten at the hands of the goons & the police. She had signs of sexual assault on her private parts.

Nodeep has been charged with section 307 and several other allegations. Her bail petition has been denied twice before getting bail for extortion charges on Thursday and hearing for another charge is pending. It is noteworthy that Dalit voices are always crushed by the police & our justice system. Police brutality towards Nodeep and delays from the courts in bail proceedings for her are proof enough that the Dalits continue to face increasing amounts of hostility & injustice. Nodeep’s sister, Rajveer Kaur who is a student in Delhi University, said that our society gets very emotional over the exploitation of the upper castes but the oppression of Dalit or tribal women is ignored.