LGBT activist Arif Jafar writes about his 47 days in jail, where he was beaten up and humiliated, after he was arrested on false charges. This is Part 3 of our series, Let’s Talk About 377. “Saala angrezi cho*** hai” (Bloody *** is sleeping with the British).” The inspector screamed at me as he slapped me again and again inside the lock up. The date and time is still etched in my mind — 2am on July 8, 2001. I was abused, tortured and humiliated for 24 hours — and made to feel less than human — only because of an archaic law that decided I was a criminal in my own country. The horror had begun a day earlier. Around 5am, a panic call from my mother had jolted me awake. Shahid, a worker from my organisation, had been arrested while doing his job — distributing condoms among MSM (men who have sex with men) population in Lucknow’s Charbagh area.
February 7 / Hindustan Times