A court in Delhi on Friday granted bail to United Against Hate founder Khalid Saifi, who was arrested from an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest site in February, reported The Quint. Saifi is a businessman and a local activist who runs the non-profit platform.
Karkardooma court’s Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat passed the order in Saifi’s second bail plea for the first information report 44 filed under the Jagatpuri police station on February 26.
However, the activist will not be released yet as he is facing charges in two more FIRs – 101, under the Khajuri Khas police station and 59, in which the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act has been invoked.
“I can not contain my happiness right now,” Saifi’s wife Nargis Saifi said. “I am extremely happy and the kids are so excited about him getting bail too. We were all waiting for this for about two months.” Saifi applied for bail in this case for the first time on March 18, and the second time on July 17.
Sections 147 (rioting), 186 (obstructing public servant from discharging duty), 149 (unlawful assembly), 148 (rioting, with deadly weapon), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from doing duty) and 307 (attempt to murder), among other charges were slapped on Saifi. The police filed the chargesheet on April 20.
Saifi along with lawyer-activist Ishrat Jahan had been physically tortured in judicial custody, according to their family members who spoke to Scroll.in in February.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the condition that they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.
At least 80 were killed in protests that erupted across India after the Act was passed. This includes two people in Karnataka, six in Assam, 19 in Uttar Pradesh, and 53 in Delhi. The protests stopped in March after the nationwide lockdown was put in place to tackle the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Critics fear that the new citizenship law when used in conjunction with a proposed National Register of Indian Citizens will allow the government to force many Muslims to prove their citizenship.
Clashes had broken out between the supporters of the new citizenship law and those opposing it between February 23 and 26 in North East Delhi, killing 53 people and injuring hundreds. The police were accused of either inaction or complicity in some instances of violence, mostly in Muslim neighbourhoods. The violence was the worst Delhi saw since the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.