The Patiala House Court on Thursday once again denied bail to pregnant Jamia Millia Islamia student Safoora Zargar, in a case related to the communal violence in North East Delhi in February during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, PTI reported. Zargar was the media coordinator of the Jamia Coordination Committee.
Zargar has been booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The prosecution has alleged that she made an “inflammatory speech” on February 23 that led to violence and rioting in North East Delhi, The Quint reported.
This is Zargar’s third unsuccessful bail plea. Zargar’s lawyers had moved court for bail on April 18, before the UAPA was invoked against her. The plea was rejected on April 21. A second application filed on May 2 was also unsuccessful.
“When you choose to play with embers, you cannot blame the wind to have carried the spark a bit too far and spread the fire,” Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana said in his order on Thursday. “The acts and inflammatory speeches of the co-conspirators are admissible under the Indian Evidence Act even against the accused.”
The judge said that during the course of the investigation, a larger conspiracy could be discerned. He said that therefore, the evidence of acts and statements made by any one of the conspirators in furtherance of the common object is admissible against all. Rana told the counsels for Zargar that even if there were no direct acts of violence attributable to the accused, she cannot shy away from her liability under the provisions of the UAPA.
But the court asked the Tihar Jail medical superintendent to provide Zargar proper medical aid, given that she is 21 weeks pregnant. “It is submitted that her condition becomes all the more vulnerable due to the pandemic Covid-19 situation,” the order read.
Clashes had broken out between supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing it in North East Delhi in February, killing 53 people and injuring hundreds. The violence was the worst Delhi saw since the anti-Sikh violence of 1984.
The Delhi Police booked Zargar and another Jamia Millia Islamia student, Meeran Haider, under the UAPA on April 21. On April 2, the Delhi Police had arrested Meeran Haider. Days later, Safoora Zargarwas arrested for allegedly obstructing the road near the Jaffrabad metro station on February 23. Civil society groups had issued a statement on April 16 calling for the release of the two students.
In a first information report filed in the case, the police alleged that the communal violence was a “premeditated conspiracy” which was allegedly hatched by former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid, Haider and Zargar. The students were also booked for sedition, murder, attempt to murder, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and rioting.