An Indian doctor who was jailed for more than seven months for criticizing a controversial citizenship law was released on Tuesday night after a court in northern Uttar Pradesh state called his incarceration “illegal”.
Dr Kafeel Khan told Al Jazeera he was physically tortured while in captivity, which included him being stripped of his clothes and beaten and deprived of food for days.
“It was very hard for the whole family. My 65-year-old mother was forced to visit the courts during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
Dr Khan was arrested in January for a speech made a month earlier that authorities in Uttar Pradesh (UP), governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), deemed incendiary. He was later charged under the National Security Act (NSA), which stipulates that a person can be held without charge for a year.
His speech focused on major issues facing the country of 1.4 billion people such as malnutrition, lack of health facilities and unemployment crisis