Kashmiri photojournalist Mohammad Manan Dar, who was arrested in October 2021 on terrorism-related charges, was released on bail from the Tihar Jail in Delhi on Tuesday, The Wire reported.

A Delhi court on Monday granted bail to Dar, saying that the National Investigation Agency did not have enough evidence against him.

“He was released from jail at around 9 pm on Tuesday, January 3, where he was received by a family member in the presence of his lawyers,” a family member of the freelance photographer told the news website. “He is in high spirits and looks forward to continuing his work as a journalist.”

On January 2, Additional Sessions Judge Shailender Malik said that “mere assumptions or incomplete evidence” may not be sufficient to prove the allegations against Dar, The Indian Express reported.

“This court, upon analysis of entire evidence and at least for the purpose of disposal of the bail application, observed that accusation against the accused does not appear to be cogent and true,” the judge said.

The National Investigation Agency had arrested Dar on October 21, 2021, in connection with allegations that he had been working to expand the influence of terrorist organisations after the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution. He was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The central agency alleged that Dar was part of a “hybrid cadre” meant to execute small scale attacks on minority community, security personnel and political leaders. It claimed he worked under the cover of being a photojournalist to share details about the deployment of security forces with terrorist outfits.

The National Investigation Agency also told the court that images and posters of killed militants and Telegram chats describing them as martyrs were found on Dar’s phone.

However, the court cited a Supreme Court judgement to state that mere possession of such posters or banners was not enough to prove complicity in terrorist activities.

On the other hand, defence lawyers Pankaj Tamanna and Priya Vats contended that the National Investigation Agency did not have any concrete evidence against Dar and that its case was based on conjecture. They also alleged that Dar had been illegally detained by the agency for two weeks and only then shown as arrested, according to The Wire.