A court in Delhi on Monday granted bail to three protestors from Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh locality who were charged for allegedly disobeying restrictions on gatherings imposed by the state and the central governments in view of the nationwide lockdown, Live Law reported. The lockdown has been imposed for a three-week period from March 25 to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The accused had allegedly defied the curfew imposed in light of the pandemic, and reached the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest site in Shaheen Bagh.
The court, while granting bail to the protestors— Syed Taseer Ahmed, Shan Mohammed, and Syed Masood Ahmad — said it took into consideration the recent directions passed by the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court to initiate the decongestion of prisons in the national Capital. It barred the accused from visiting Shaheen Bagh for the “purpose of any protest”.
The Centre opposed the bail, saying the arrested persons might mobilise crowds at the protest site in future, adding that it can potentially jeopardize the government’s attempts to contain the coronavirus outbreak. The court, however, imposed “suitable restrictions” on the accused to avoid that from happening.
“The applicant shall not be posting any opinion regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Population Register and National Register of Citizens on any social media, instant messengers nor will be giving any interview in this regard to print and electronic media,” the court said. The accused were also barred from participating in any gathering of more than five persons according to the advisories issued by the government, it added.
The court also asked the accused to mark their attendance at the Shaheen Bagh Police Station every Monday at 10 am during the period of investigation.
On March 24, the Delhi Police on Tuesday cleared protestors demonstrating against the amendments to the Citizenship Act from the Shaheen Bagh neighbourhood. The development came a day after similar protests in Mumbai and Lucknow were temporarily called off due to coronavirus.
The Shaheen Bagh protest, which was on since December 15, had become the epicentre of protests against the amended citizenship law and the proposed National Register of Citizens. The protest, led by women, had inspired similar demonstrations in other cities.
Meanwhile, India began its sixth day in lockdown on Monday as confirmed coronavirus cases stood at 1,071. Out of these, 942 are being treated, 29 people have died, 99 have recovered, and one person has migrated. The highest number of cases have been reported from Kerala and Maharashtra with 194 and 193 infections each. Eight Covid-19 patients have died in Maharashtra – the highest number for any state in the country.