Labour activist Shiv Kumar, who was arrested along with Dalit labour activist Nodeep Kaur, walked out of Haryana’s Sonepat jail on Friday to the chants of ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ after getting bail in the last of three cases lodged against him.
Both the activists were arrested after violence during their protest against the alleged harassment of factory workers in the Kundli Industrial Area in Sonepat on January 12. Kaur was granted bail last week.
Kumar, who is the the president of Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, was arrested on charges of ‘extortion and attempt to murder’ and had been in judicial custody since February 2. The activist has alleged that he had been tortured and beaten up in custody
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“I wasn’t even at the Kundli factory where the incident took place but police picked me up on January 16. They tortured me. For the next six days, I was beaten almost every day… I was scared for my life. I was tortured and made to give false statements,” Kumar told The Indian Express after his release.
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Earlier, Nodeep Kaur had also alleged torture by police while in custody. The police, however, have denied all charges. She faced a slew of charges: murder, extortion, rioting, and criminal intimidation.
Having a family history in activism, Nodeep’s parents are members of farmer unions in Punjab and her sister is a student activist in Delhi University who had joined a trade union that worked to ensure the rights of the labourers.