Mira Nair Demands Medical Care for Actor Arrested in UP Protests

Sadaf Jafar stars in Mira Nair’s ‘A Suitable Boy’.

Updated
Celebrities
3 min read
Mira Nair tweeted to demand the release of actor and former teacher, Sadaf Jafar. 
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Acclaimed international filmmaker Mira Nair has expressed shock that Sadaf Jafar, who has acted in her series, A Suitable Boy, allegedly arrested in Lucknow on 19 December, is still languishing in jail.

Sadaf is one of the many arrested during the mass detainment of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters in Uttar Pradesh. Mira Nair had recently tweeted, demanding the release of actor and former teacher, who was picked up and then allegedly beaten up by the UP Police.

Unable to get in touch with Sadaf herself, Mira was able to contact her sister, Naheed Varma.

“Naheed told me that Sadaf is still bleeding in jail from blows inflicted on her by male policemen. She is in pain, in a freezing prison where she is provided no mattress, only a ragged blanket. No medicine is allowed her. Her two young children are alone during the holidays without their single mother.”
Mira Nair, Filmmaker

Mira has now appealed that immediate medical attention and care be provided to Sadaf and to all others arrested, detained or in judicial custody, and are in of need medical care.

According to Mira, medical care has been denied to her so far, as the authorities have maintained she has received no injuries at all.

“For the authorities to deny Sadaf medical care merely to uphold an official fiction that she has received no injuries at all is not only callous and cynical, but also in total disregard of any rights, whether of humans or citizens.”
Mira Nair, Filmmaker

Naheed, who met her sister soon after the arrest, says that she witnessed the injuries herself when she met her sister in jail on 19 December, and then on 23 December.

Sadaf has been lodged in a Lucknow jail since 19 December, when she was arrested while capturing videos of the protests taking place at Parivartan Chowk in Lucknow as part of the Anti-CAA protests. On 23 December, her bail plea was rejected by the court as the charges levied against her were of a serious nature.

Mira had tweeted on 22 December, appealing for Sadaf’s release.

Her tweet read, “This is our India now - Appalling: our #SuitableBoy actress, Sadaf Jafar, beaten and jailed for peaceful protest in Lucknow! Join me in demanding her release.”

Sadaf will be seen in the filmmaker’s next, A Suitable Boy, also starring Tabu and Ishaan Khatter.

Omerta director Hansal Mehta also appealed for the actor’s release. “This is shocking. And telling. How the people have shaken up an establishment that finds no other alternative than to brutalise in the face of protest. #ReleaseSadafJafar,” he tweeted.

UP capital Lucknow witnessed huge rallies against CAA on Thursday, 19 December. Jafar who was also part of one such rally went live on Facebook when some miscreants pelted stones at the local police at city's Parivartan Chowk.

In fact, she was live on video even when the police arrested her. In one of the videos, she can be seen asking the police why there were complicit and not acting against those being unruly and that the stone pelting incident is a staged one.

“Why are you not stopping them? When there is violence, then you’re standing and watching the show. What’s the use of the helmet? Why aren’t you doing anything?” she can be heard saying.
In the next video, as she is walking by, a police personnel arrests her as she is heard saying, “Why are you arresting me? Why didn’t you arrest the people who were pelting stones?”

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