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Published On: Tue, Jun 23rd, 2020

Safoora Zargar gets bail after police doesn’t object

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Safoora 3NEW DELHI : Safoora Zargar, a pregnant Jamia Millia University student arrested under an anti-terror law in a case related to the Delhi violence earlier this year was granted bail today  after the police withdrew its objection on “humanitarian grounds”.

Safoora Zargar, 27, was three months pregnant when she was arrested on April 10 on conspiracy charges over the riots that broke out in February during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA). She had participated in the protests against the new citizenship law.
She was arrested for allegedly obstructing a road near the Jaffrabad metro station but charged later under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The student of M.Phil at Jamia was accused of instigating riots and of being a key conspirator in the violence that left over 50 dead. Her arrest and incarceration provoked strong condemnation from students, activists and rights bodies and sharply divided social media.
The Delhi Police had opposed her bail three times. On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court granted her bail in response to a plea filed by a fellow student who said that Ms Zargar was suffering from medical complications. The government, which had opposed all her bail pleas so far, said it would not oppose it this time on “humanitarian grounds”.
Today, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the police, said he would not oppose her bail on humanitarian grounds. It had nothing to do with the merits of the case, he asserted. Just yesterday, Mr Mehta had argued that Ms Zargar should not be granted bail as “the severity of her offence is in no manner mitigated by the fact of her pregnancy.”
A “clear and cogent case” had been made out against her and she was accused of “grave and serious offences meticulously and surreptitiously planned and executed by her”, the police claimed. The police also said she had been kept in a separate cell and there was hardly any chance of her contracting corona virus. 39 deliveries had taken place in Delhi prisons in the last 10 years, argued Mr Mehta.
The bench of Justice Rajiv Shakhdher granted Zargar bail on furnishing a bond of Rs 10,000, but on certain conditions. She cannot indulge in the activities that will violate the law or hamper the investigation, the judge said. In addition, she must take the court’s permission before leaving Delhi and be in touch with the investigating officer every 15 days on the phone.
At the request of lawyer Nitya Ramakrishnan, who is appearing for Zargar,, the court narrowed the scope of the bail condition pressed by Mehta, specifying only that she not indulge in activities that “infract the law”. Her lawyer told the court that she was in a delicate state and a fairly advanced stage of pregnancy.
Several rights organizations had called for the release of Ms Zargar and others arrested in Delhi riots cases in the middle of the corona virus lock-down.
“The government of India has been exceedingly intolerant towards free speech and dissent,” Amnesty International India Executive Director Avinash Kumar said in a statement at the time of her arrest.
(With Agency Inputs ).






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