Aisha Sultana gets anticipatory bail in sedition case

Filmmaker Aisha Sultana gets anticipatory bail in sedition case

Sultana had alleged that the central government used biological weapons for the spread of Covid in Lakshadweep

Aisha Sultana. Credit: DH File Photo

Lakshadweep native actor Aisha Sultana was allowed to leave the island by the Kavaratti police after three days of quizzing in connection with the sedition case.

Though she was not arrested and allowed to leave, she was told by the police that she might be summoned again after verifying her statements, said sources. She was quizzed earlier on Sunday and Wednesday.

The Kavaratti police registered the case on the basis of a petition give by BJP Lakshadweep president Abdulkhader Haji citing a remark of Sultana in a TV channel discussion that Covid surge in Lakshadweep due to decisions of administrator Praful Khoda Patel was a 'bio weapon' of the BJP.

The court said in the event of her arrest, she shall be released on bail on execution of bond for Rs 50,000 with two solvent sureties each for like amount to the satisfaction of the officer arresting her.

Following the registration of the FIR in Lakshadweep, Sultana had approached the Kerala High Court seeking anticipatory bail.

Last week, the high court had granted her interim anticipatory bail for a week, while reserving orders on her anticipatory bail application.

The court had directed her to comply with the notice given by Kavaratti police to appear before them for interrogation on June 20 in connection with the case.

The court had ordered that she be granted interim anticipatory bail if she is arrested.

Read | Who is Aisha Sultana, Lakshadweep activist facing sedition charges?

The allegation is that the filmmaker, while participating in a debate telecast by a Malayalam news channel on June 7, had said the Centre used biological weapons against the people of Lakshadweep.

When the anticipatory bail plea came up, her counsel had submitted that Sultana had clarified her remarks later and tendered an apology for making the statement.

Sultana submitted that she never realised that usage of the word bio-weapon is an offence and the remark was made not intending to create hatred in the minds of the people.

She said she was ready to appear before police for questioning but sought protection from arrest.

Opposing her anticipatory bail plea, Lakshadweep administration had said Sultana promoted separatism and communalism even in the minds of school children by making such a statement.

Sultana was interrogated by the Kavaratti police on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday in connection with the case.

Emerging from the police station at Kavaratti, after nearly a three-hour long interrogation on Thursday, Sultana had claimed, "Everything is over.I am told that I can go back to Kochi.I will reach Kochi tomorrow or a day after."

(With inputs from agencies)

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