Pregnant student activist Safoora Zargar got fourth time lucky when the Delhi High Court granted her bail in the case related to Delhi communal violence during India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in February 2020.
The Kashmiri research scholar, 27, who is also a member of the Jamia Milia Islamia Coordination Committee was arrested by Delhi Police under the anti-terror law UAPA in April this year.
Today’s court order came after the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the state agrees, on humanitarian grounds, to release Safoora on regular bail.
Safoora’s previous bail applications were rejected, so we were hoping against hope that she would be granted bail this time. Thankfully the court decided to grant her bail today,” her elated husband said
The Jamia student is currently 23 weeks pregnant. Safoora’s family has welcomed the court’s decision. In an exclusive telephonic chat with Gulf News, her husband said that they are keenly awaiting her arrival at home.
Relief to family
“It is such a relief to us all. Safoora has been through a lot. She is expecting, as you know, and was lodged in the jail during this pandemic, doubling our worry. Thanks to God Almighty, she can finally come home and rest,” her husband added.
Pertinently this was the fourth time that lawyers of the anti-CAA activist were moving court for bail ever since her arrest in April this year.
More on Safoora in Gulf News
While granting her bail, the court ordered Safoora to furnish a personal bond of Rs10,000. The Jamia Millia Islamia student will have to seek permission of the court before leaving Delhi. Safoora will also have to present herself before an investigating officer every 15 days.
“Safoora’s previous bail applications were rejected, so we were hoping against hope that she would be granted bail this time. Thankfully the court decided to grant her bail today,” her elated husband said.
Delhi Police opposed Safoora’s bail plea, telling the court that the student’s pregnancy does not dilute the gravity of the offence alleged against her. The cops maintained that she was getting adequate medical care in the jail.
Delhi Police opposes bail
“There is no exception carved out for pregnant inmate, who is accused of such heinous crime, to be released on bail merely because of pregnancy. To the contrary, the law provides for adequate safeguards and medical attention during their custody in jail,” the report submitted by Delhi Police stated.
Safoora’s legal team argued that she was “mischievously” arrested by Delhi Police to curtail her liberty. They pleaded that the research scholar deserved to be on bail on humanitarian grounds because of her advancing pregnancy. She suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome.
The scholar is booked not just under provisions of the Indian Penal Code, but also the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 (UAPA).
Her arrest generated a massive outrage with the Amnesty International noting that “Safoora who is in the second trimester of her pregnancy and send her to an overcrowded prison during the pandemic highlights how brutal is the ongoing clampdown in the country”.
At the time of her arrest India’s social media ecosystem was flooded with disrespectful and derogatory comments, mostly by right wing trolls, pertaining to her pregnancy and private life.