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Court refuses bail for actress-activist Sadaf Jafar; Hansal Mehta, Vijay Varma express shock


Sadaf Jafar, a member of the cast of Mira Nair's television series A Suitable Boy (2020), was arrested on 19 December while doing a Facebook Live reportage of the anti-CAA protests.

Our Correspondent

Lucknow's chief judicial magistrate yesterday rejected a bail application of actress and activist Sadaf Jafar who was arrested in connection with the violence in the city during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizenship on 19 December.

Magistrate Sudesh Kumar said Sadaf cannot be granted bail as the offences she has been booked under are serious in nature. “A bail application of Jafar was moved today in the court of the chief judicial magistrate. The court rejected it. We will be filing a bail application in the sessions court,” lawyer Harjot Singh told the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency.

Police have charged the actress with voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant from his duty (section 332 of the Indian Penal Code), assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from the discharge of his duty (section 353), rioting (section 147) and criminal conspiracy (section 120-B).

Sadaf Jafar was arrested while she was doing a Facebook Live programme to show a riot-hit area to her followers on the social media platform. 

A group of Uttar Pradesh Congress leaders went to meet Sadaf Jafar in jail yesterday. State Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu later told PTI, “She was beaten brutally by the police. She was hit on her back and her hair was pulled.” He also demanded a high-level judicial probe into the matter. 

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also condemned the arrest. “Our woman party member Sadaf Jafar was asking police to arrest rioters. But the UP police badly assaulted and arrested her. She has two small kids. This is high-handedness. Such acts won’t be tolerated. Release our party worker soon,” Vadra said on Twitter. 

Sadaf is a part of Mira Nair’s television series A Suitable Boy (2020). Artistes from the film industry like filmmaker Hansal Mehta and actor Vijay Varma condemned the arrest and demanded her release.