In Delhi, the lower courts granted bail to four persons over last month’s Seelampur anti-CAA protests.
New Delhi/Lucknow: The additional sessions court in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, on Thursday released on bail 58 persons arrested during the anti-CAA protests in the state. Actor-activist Sadaf Jafar and several others, however, remained in jail while Bollywood celebrities like Mahesh Bhatt, Swara Bhaskar and Sushant Singh demanded her release.
Jafar, who is also a Congress spokesperson, was arrested in Lucknow on December 19 while live on Facebook from the spot where the protests against the amended citizenship law had gone violent. Mahesh Bhatt said that without liberty, “free institutions are a sham”.
Among those granted bail were environmental activists Ekta and Ravi Shekhar, who ended up in police custody while protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the NRC nearly two weeks ago. Their 14-month-old baby was all over the news and the child had taken ill in the past few days.
“I didn”t think it would take so long,” an emotional Ekta told the media as she hugged her daughter after two weeks. “Main bata nahin sakti (I can’t put it in words),” she said when asked how it felt.
The bail application of the couple — nabbed along with other protesters from Left groups from Beniyabagh and nearby localities for violating prohibitory orders under Section 144 CRPC — was initially cancelled by a lower court and the nex hearing fixed for January 1. In their absence, their baby was cared for by her grandmother Sheila Tiwari, uncle Shashikant and her aunts.
In Delhi, the lower courts granted bail to four persons over last month’s Seelampur anti-CAA protests. While allowing the bail applications by Sajid Ali and Daniyal, the judge said there was nothing on record yet to show the involvement of the two accused in any violent mobs. Two others — Yusuf and Moinuddin — were given bail on medical grounds.
Meanwhile, protests took place in Miami, Florida, where Indians read out the Preamble of the Constitution in the streets opposing the CAA-NRC-NPR. Students of Jamia Millia Islamia and several artists painted streets outside Delhi University to protest against the CAA/NRC.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Congress and its allies opposing the CAA, saying they are against giving relief to those who have been brutalised and victimised in Pakistan. “Pakistan was founded on religious grounds, due to which atrocities on minorities such as Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Christians have increased. But the Congress and its allies don’t speak against Pakistan,” he said at a function in Karnataka.