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Indian actress ‘beaten and jailed’ for protesting citizenship bill

LUCKNOW: Independent filmmaker Mira Nair on Sunday to reveal that Sadaf Jafar, an actress in her adaptation of Vikram Seth’s novel A Suitable Boy, has been arrested in Lucknow.
Jafar was arrested during an protest against the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act. Nair shared a report about Jafar’s arrest on Twitter and wrote, “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 Jafar’s arrest was captured on a Facebook live. She can be heard expressing surprise after a female cop arrests her. In an earlier video, Jafar can be heard asking cops to stop those who are pelting stones.
Violent protests broke out in Lucknow on December 19 during a demonstration against the new citizenship law when protesters pelted stones and torched vehicles parked outside a police post. Over 200 people were detained following the clashes between the protesters and security forces. The detainees include social activist Sadaf Jafar.
Filmmaker Mira Nair with the cast of ‘A Suitable Boy’
Sadaf Jafar was at the protest site in Lucknow when she was picked up by the police. An FIR was registered against 34 people, including Sadaf Jafar, at a police station in Lucknow.
Before being picked up by the police, Sadaf Jafar had posted two videos on Facebook highlighting police inaction when the protests turned violent in Lucknow.

READ MORE: 26 dead as protests grow against India citizenship law

In one of the live videos, she is heard asking the police why they were not acting against the protesters. She also heard claiming that the stone-pelting incident was staged.
“Why are not you stopping them? Why are you standing and watching the show and not nabbing them? What is the use of your helmets?” Safad Jafar is heard saying in the video.

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra demanded the immediate release of Sadaf Jafar. She said, “Our activist Sadaf Zafar was telling the police to grab the miscreants but she was picked up and beaten up by the UP police….Such repression will not do.”
Besides having been a part of A Suitable Boy and theatre, Sadaf Jafar is also an UP Congress media spokesperson, teacher and social activist.

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