Anti-CAA protest: Bail to 12 in Seemapuri violence case

Anti-CAA protest: Bail to 12 in Seemapuri violence case

The court said most of the accused were in judicial custody since December 21. Credit: PTI

A court here on Friday granted bail to 12 people arrested in connection with the violence in Seemapuri area in northeast Delhi during anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests and directed them to get their doubts regarding the amended law cleared by the police.

Additional Sessions Judge Sanjeev Kumar Malhotra granted relief to the accused persons on a personal bond of Rs 20,000 each and one surety of like amount. He also asked them to not disturb public peace.

"Applicants shall not do any act which may disturb public peace. Applicants shall put their appearance on January 19 between 2 to 4 pm at Seemapuri Police Station, where the IO/SHO shall make endeavour to remove the doubts of the applicants in respect of CAA," the court said.

The court observed that everyone had the right to hold peaceful protest in a democracy but damaging public property was not acceptable.

"Right to protest is recognised as a fundamental right in a democracy but this right of peaceful protest and open criticism of government policies does not extend to disturbing the public order, i.e., public peace, safety and tranquillity," the court said.

"The Constitution of India also prohibits a person from making any statement that incites people to commit an offence," the court said.

Those who were granted bail included Amjad Khan, Abdul Kalam, Rajaullah Khan, Nisar, Amiruddin, Suaib, Ahtmaad Ahmed, Waqar, Anis, Hazi Mehraj, Mohd Shoib and Mohd Amir.

Advocates Zakir Raja, Shahab Ahmad and Satya Prakash Gautam, appearing for some of the accused, told the judge that 10 out of 12 accused were in judicial custody since December 21 last year and some of them were not even present at the site of the protest.

The advocates of Shoib and Amir, who were sent to judicial custody on January 5, claimed that the duo was arrested despite protesting peacefully.

Police said the arrested people were part of an unruly mob and they were a "threat" to public peace. It also said that the accused damaged public property and pelted stones at them.

On December 20, stone-pelting and incidents of violence were reported from Daryaganj in Old Delhi and Seemapuri during protests against the CAA.

Claiming that some of their personnel were seriously injured in the Seemapuri protest, the police had slapped section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC against all the accused.

The advocates, however, said told the court that section 307 was wrongly invoked since "admittedly the nature of injuries sustained by police officials is simple in nature".

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