The Allahabad High Court on Thursday granted bail to Dalit rights activist and Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, who is the key accused in the violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur earlier this year, News18 reported. The court granted bail to three others, as well, saying the charges against all four were politically motivated.
Justice Mukhtar Ahmad sanctioned bail after considering the application filed by Azad and his deputy Kamal Walia, both of whom are accused of murder, robbery, rioting and arson.
An Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force had arrested Azad on June 8 from Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh. On Thursday, Azad’s lawyer told News18 that the Saharanpur administration had registered First Information Reports against the Bhim Army chief and others to counter FIRs filed by Dalits after the violence in Saharanpur.
“As you know, there were caste-based riots in Saharanpur, in which about 50 to 55 houses belonging to Dalits were gutted in fires,” Imam Mabud Khan said. “However, only 25 FIRs were registered by the administration, that too after a lot of pressure. To counter these FIRs by Dalits, the administration lodged counter FIRs against Dalit leaders and students.”
“Chandrasekhar Azad was thus arrested from Himachal Pradesh despite the fact that he was not involved,” Khan said. “After hearing today’s arguments the court observed that they were falsely implicated and the charges were politically motivated. Hence, the honourable court granted bail to all of them.”