Two weeks after Uttar Pradesh Congress leader and activist Sadaf Jafar was arrested by the police amidst protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, Twitterati took to Twitter with #FreeSadaf and slammed the UP police and urged them to release her immediately. People from different fraternities joined the movement to #FreeSadaf.
Twitterati said that the arrest of Sadaf to silence her is the death of our democracy. "This is not you treat people who protest peacefully," they tweeted.
Congress also tweeted to demand the immediate release of Sadaf. "We demand the immediiate release of social activist Sadaf Jafar, who has been under arrest for the last 14 days by the UP Police," they tweeted.
National spokesperson of Congress, Sanjay Jha, also took to Twitter and urged to support the movement to free Sadaf. "I request everyone to support the movement to #FreeSadaf as it could be anyone tomorrow. Please share, RT as what is happening is wrong," he tweeted. "India is a democracy and the right to protest peacefully is a fundamental right," he added.
The Bollywood industry also joined the movement against Sadaf's arrest. Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt expressing his anger on Twitter and said, "If the mind is shackled or made impotent through fear, it makes no difference under what form of government you live, u are a subject & not a citizen . Without liberty of speech, all of the outward forms and structures of free institutions are a sham, a pretense. #FreeSadaf"
Actress Swara Bhasker also said that Sadaf's friend Deepak was also in jail who went to enquire about her. She tweeted, "Activist and actor #sadafjafar is in jail in Lucknow.. not clear why! Her friends #DeepakKabir is also in jail because he went to enquire after her.. #FreeSadaf #FreeDeepak and make UP police accountable for its excesses!"
Reportedly she was the lone women arrested that day in the state.
"She has been beaten with a baton on her legs and hands. The police also kicked her on the belly, following which she had internal bleeding," The Quint quoted her sister as saying.
According to reports, Jafar is a single mother to two young children.
She was live on Facebook at the time of the incident. In a video on her Facebook profile she can be seen asking the police in the area why they were not stopping those engaging in stone pelting. She can also be heard commenting on the scarcity of police officials in an area of unrest.
In another video she can be seen walking among the gathered police officials when a policewoman detains her.
"Why are you arresting me? What have I done? Why didn't you arrest those who were throwing stones?" she can be heard asking.
In the video another person, presumably the official, can be heard retorting, "Those old men were with you only, weren't they?"
Earlier on Sunday, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had demanded that party worker Sadaf Zafar be released immediately.
In a tweet, Priyanka Gandhi said, "Our party worker Sadaf Zafar was telling the cops to catch unruly elements, but, the UP Police beat her up badly and arrested her. She has two children. This is high-handedness (jyaadtee) and this type of oppression will not work."
According to a tweet by historian Rana Safvi, Jafar's bail plea was dismissed on Monday.
The Uttar Pradesh police however denies this. In a video posted on Twitter on Sunday evening, the Superintendent of Police can be seen saying that Jafar had undergone a medical test after she was arrested.
SHO Hazratganj Police Station Dheerendra Pratap Kushwaha on Sunday said that the Congress worker was arrested in Lucknow along with other protestors and sent to jail, reported PTI.