‘They Beat Me Ruthlessly’: Dalit Labour Activist Shiv Kumar Recounts Police Torture

Chandigarh: On March 4, a day after Shiv Kumar, a 24-year-old Dalit labour rights’ activist, was released from the Sonepat Jail, he visited the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh (PGIMER) for a full medical check-up.

Last month, a medical examination report, sought by the Punjab and Haryana high court, had revealed large-scale torture was perpetrated against the 24-year-old by the Haryana police. Kumar visited the medical institute in Chandigarh for another set of tests. “I met the psychiatrist, he checked how I am doing mentally after my period in jail,” Shiv Kumar said.

Sitting under the shadow of large trees at the Punjab University campus on March 5, a day after his check-up at the PGIMER, Kumar met with journalists and narrated the story of his arrest and time inside jail. He sat on a plastic chair with his left leg plastered up to his knee to support his multiple fractures.

Narrating the day of his arrest he said: “I was relieving myself near the KFC mall at the Singhu protest site on January 16. That’s when some men in plainclothes kidnapped me and took me away. They took me to an undisclosed location and beat me ruthlessly. Only after a couple of hours, I realised that I had been arrested by the Haryana police.”

Kumar is convinced that he was arrested and tortured in jail only because he spoke for the rights of workers and demanded their dues be paid by the factory association. He said that he did nothing to provoke the police or the industry.

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