Anti-CAA Protest: Delhi HC Grants Bail to Jamia Resident Saying 'Not Much Evidence for Involvement in Violence'
Danish Jafar, a plumber, was arrested by Police day after the December 15 protest against CAA turned violent near Jamia Millia Islamia
NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 06— The Delhi High Court has granted bail to a Jamia Nagar resident in the December 15 violence case, saying there was not much proof of his involvement in the violence. The accused Danish Jafar was arrested from near his house day after the anti-CAA protest turned violent near Jamia Millia Islamia and had since been in jail.
“Whilst the right to protest and express cannot be interdicted; violence in any form cannot be countenanced. However, in the present case, there does not appear to be much material evidencing the involvement of the petitioner in indulging in any violent act,” said Justice Vibhu Bakhru in his bail order on Monday (Feb 3).
Students of Jamia Millia and hundreds of local residents had protested against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) near the university December 15 afternoon. The protest turned violent as some public buses were set afire by unknown persons. There was also stone pelting. In retaliation, huge number of policemen had barged into the campus of the Jamia university and brutally assaulted the students – they did not spare even those who were studying in the university library. While some students got their hands or legs fractured, one law student was hit in the eye with police lathi that he lost his left eye. Scores of students were detained but they were released late in the night.
Day after the violence, the police lodged cases against several local residents and students. As per media reports, half a dozen local residents were arrested and sent to jail. Danish Jafar, a plumber by profession, was one of them.
The FIR registered by Jamia Nagar Police Station alleged that a crowd protesting against CAA, NPR and NRC had turned violent and burnt buses, damaged vehicles and injured police officials by throwing stones and bricks. It invoked offences ranging from rioting to attempt to commit culpable homicide under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, as well as offences under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984, reports LiveLaw.in
Opposing the bail plea, the police said that the accused Danish Jafar was one of the protesters who had indulged in the violent acts, including the burning of the Kabristan Police Booth, Jamia Nagar. The police also said that the CCTV footage had been obtained and was being analysed, and the Petitioner was a habitual offender who had been involved in several similar cases.
Countering the charges, the counsel for Danish told the court that he was merely a plumber by profession and that the numerous FIRs had been registered to victimise him – while two of the FIRs were from 2013 when he was a juvenile, in one FIR, he has been discharged, and in another FIR, he was neither named nor had been summoned for any court proceeding. Besides, the counsel presented the printouts from the Twitter handle of Delhi Police which displayed photographs of 71 protesters identified from the CCTV footage. However, Danish was not among them.
In light of the submissions, Justice Vibhu Bakhru granted him bail on the ground of insufficient evidence against him in the December 15 case.
The court ordered him to furnish Rs. 5,000 as personal bond and one surety of an equivalent amount to the satisfaction of the concerned trial court and asked him to appear before the Jamia Police Station every Monday of the calendar week, and maintain discipline.
Since CAA was passed by the Parliament on December 11, there have been massive nationwide protests against it and government plans for NRC and NPR.
Since the December 15 incident, students of Jamia and local residents have been constantly protesting near the main gate of the university seeing withdrawal of CAA-NRC-NPR and action against cops for assaulting the students inside the campus.
The Jamia university administration has also lodged complaint with the police for trespassing the university campus without permission and damaging its properties but Police have not yet registered any FIR.