“Is It Wrong To Have Political Affiliation?”: Ex-Councillor In Delhi Riots Case
Former Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan, arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), on Monday sought bail in the northeast Delhi riots conspiracy case, asking before a court in the national capital that whether it wrong to have a political affiliation.
“There is no evidence. Is it wrong to have a political affiliation? What wrong have I committed? Stifling voices was the reason behind imposing UAPA. UAPA must be scrutinized,” said advocate Pradeep Teotia, appearing for Ishrat Jahan before Addistion Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat.
Ishrat Jahan has served as Congress councillor from 2012-17 and has been a member of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), according to her sister Sarwer Jahan.
Mr Teotia argued bail plea for her on the grounds that there is no evidence to show her connection with the co-accused and that the witnesses are planted.
During the course of proceedings, the advocate objected to the prosecution’s allegations that Ishrat Jahan helped in financing the protest and violence, saying that they have just weaved a story and that there was no change in the pattern of her expenditure before and during the violence.
Meanwhile, Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad asked for the supply of the video relied upon by the counsels of the accused.
The Judge will further hear the matter on July 23.
Ishrat Jahan, along with several others has been booked under the anti-terror law in the case and they are accused of being the “masterminds” of the February 2020 violence, which had left 53 people dead and over 700 injured.
This is the first time the accused has sought regular bail in the matter. In November last year, the court had denied interim bail to her considering the gravity of offences including those lodged under UAPA.
Earlier, Ishrat Jahan was granted interim bail for 10 days to get married and was directed not to tamper with the evidence or influence the witnesses. Ms Jahan’s marriage was fixed for June 12, 2020.
Besides Ishrat Jahan, Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha, JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, former student leader Umar Khalid, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain and several others have also been booked under the anti-terror law in the case.
The Delhi High Court had recently granted bail to Mr Tanha, Ms Narwal, and Ms Kalita in the case, saying the State blurred the line between the right to protest and terrorist activity in anxiety to suppress dissent.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)