Nodeep Kaur, a 23-year-old Dalit labourer and trade union activist from Punjab, was arrested on January 12 after she had joined a protest by labourers in Haryana's Kundli.

Nodeep, who has allegedly suffered sexual abuse while in prison, has been in police custody for nearly a month without bail.

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Her case was brought into focus when American lawyer Meena Harris, the niece of US Vice-President Kamala Harris, tweeted about it.

 Meena Harris was among the International celebrities who showed support for the farmers after the issue was brought to everyone's notice by pop star Rihanna.

Meena Harris tweeted a montage of posters with images of a mob burning posters of celebrities who had drawn flak after tweeting about the farmers' protest, seeking Nodeep Kaur's release. 

This is what she wrote: "Weird to see a photo of yourself burned by an extremist mob but imagine what they would do if we lived in India. I'll tell you—23 year old labour rights activist Nodeep Kaur was arrested, tortured and sexually assaulted in police custody. She's been detained without bail for over 20 days." 

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Nodeep Kaur, an activist, had been working at a small firm in the  Kundli Industrial Area in Sonipat, about 3 kilometres away from the Delhi-Haryana border, where the farmers have been protesting for over two months.  

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, namely "Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan," that worked to ensure the rights of the labourers.  

Nodeep was fired within 4 months from the day she began protesting in the Kundli industrial area with 20 others demanding wages, after they clashed with the police.   

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She was later, arrested and various charges including murder, extortion, theft, rioting, unlawful assembly, extortion and criminal intimidation were made against the 23-year old.

Calling all allegations false, Nodeep Kaur's sister Rajveer Kaur has denied all allegations and accused the police of custodial torture and sexual assault on her sister.

"The government is afraid of the unity of workers of farmers and that is why my sister is being targeted," Rajveer Kaur told reporters.

She added, "She has been beaten up in the police station by male staff and has even been sexually assaulted. There are injuries in her private parts. There should be strict action." 

Nodeep's lawyer said, "We have filed an application in the court regarding complaints of assault against her. The court has given  orders for a medical examination but we are yet to receive that report."

Despite all this, the police has denied all allegations, calling them "concocted".

"The activists' attack upon the police resulted in injuries to seven personnel, including a woman constable," said Sonepat police in a statement issued by them on Saturday. 

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"The accusations of sexual assault seem to be an afterthought and the police department clearly negates them. Also, Nodeep was constantly in the presence of two women personnel," the statement added.  

Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes asked the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) to ensure relief for Nodeep Kaur, on Monday. It has also sought a report on the issue by February 23.

The Commission said it has taken suo motu notice of the issue since the woman is a resident of Sri Muktsar Sahib district, in the communique.