Lucknow: Following December 19 clashes in UP over Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act, the state government has ordered detention of ‘alleged’ protestors.
Former teacher, spokesperson for Congress party and mother of two, have been ‘arrested, brutally beaten with a baton on her legs and hands and kicked in stomache leading to internal bleeding’ Jafar’s sister Shabana reported to The Quint. A video statement released on Twitter shows UP Police claiming arrest of Jafar on 19 December for creating nuisance. Following which she underwent medical checkup.
Jafar, a tech-savvy activist, used Facebook Live feature and broadcasted three lives from the scene of the protest. In the videos, she can be heard repeatedly requesting the police to not stand around and stop the rioters, asking protestors to stand on the side together so as not to get hurt or pulled into the violence.
“Son, don’t go there. Please don’t. You will get hurt. Come over here. They are not protesters, they are hired rioters,” she is heard telling a young protester. She is also heard asking the media present on the scene to show the faces of the rioters. And in the third and last video, she is resisting her arrest. Her last words in the video are, “I am being arrested.”
Jafar’s sister narrates the incident
Naheed Varma, Jafar’s elder sister, who was also part of the protest, had called her, trying to locate her. “We were all locked up in one of the shops on the high street,” she says. “And I called her to find out where she was. And she just told me she can’t talk and hung up. If she had just said that I am being arrested, we could have gone to the police station immediately.”
For two days, Varma had no idea where Jafar was. “We saw her video and knew she has been arrested but every time I called the Hazratganj police station, they denied picking up any woman protester.”
Unaware of her whereabouts, her friends took to social media:
Jafar was also the only woman out of the 150 people arrested on December 19. The police also slapped 18 serious charges against Jafar, including rioting and damage to public property. So far, she has been denied bail.
Jafar has been a vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP CM Yogi Adityanath’s Hindutva politics, much before she aligned herself with the Congress. Her activism has been beyond party colours. She has raised her voice, put herself out against bigotry and injustice, without caring about personal consequences.
“The UP government has crossed all limits of inhumanity. Congress activist Sadaf Zafar is clearly seen asking the police to arrest those who are spreading the violence. The police have put Sadaf in jail by making baseless allegations,” Priyanka Gandhi tweeted as she reached Jafar’s house to meet her family members.