American author and niece of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Meena Harris caused a controversy on Saturday, by tweeting unverified allegations about the Nodeep Kaur case. In her tweet, Meena Harris alleges that Nodeep Kaur has been sexually assaulted in police custody. This unverified claim went viral and was on repeat ad nauseum by others, including the actress Chitrangada Singh. Fortunately, this brutal and bizarre claim is not true.
In a statement on Saturday, the Sonepat Police, which holds Nodeep Kaur in custody, denied the allegations “being circulated on social media platforms about illegal detention and harassment”, and termed them an “afterthought”. Sonepat Police further claimed that at the police station, Nodeep Kaur was kept in the ladies’ waiting room “for the entire time and was accompanied by two female police personnel for the entire duration of her stay”.
However, the most crucial part of Sonepat Police’s statement was that Nodeep Kaur was taken to Civil Hospital for a general medical exam and a special medical exam specifically for sexual assault. But Nodeep Kaur herself gave a written statement refusing the special examination on the grounds that she hadn’t been a victim of sexual assualt. Sonepat Police said that Nodeep Kaur underwent a “special medical examination by a lady doctor for sexual assault where she herself gave a written statement… that she doesn’t want to be medically examined as she had not been assaulted”.
Furthermore, Nodeep Kaur made no allegations of sexual assault when she was presented in front of the Chief Judicial Magistrate. The Police said that, “she did not disclose/mention anything about any assault by police officials” to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, before whom she was presented prior to being taken to Karnal jail.
Nevertheless, it did not stop Meena Harris from spreading the unverified claim of sexual assault via tweet. Meena Harris’s disinformation spread like wildfire, with the tweet amassing almost 60 thousand likes and millions of impressions. Meena Harris has repeatedly utilized her platform to spread unsubstantiated claims and sometimes outright falsehoods. This time around however, she wasn’t alone in spreading unverifed claims.
This claim, made by Nodeep’s lawyer, is incorrect in light of Sonepat Police’s statement. Nodeep’s lawyer claims that a medical examination of Nodeep after her arrest shows wounds on her private parts. But this turns out to be false because according to Nodeep’s own written statement, she did not consent to a special examination because she was not a victim of sexual assault.
Both Meena Harris and Chitrangda Singh have not rescinded their allegations and claims yet, despite the statement from Sonepat Police.