A Delhi court has granted bail to Supreme Court lawyer and former BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhyay, who was arrested in connection with anti-Muslim rally held at Jantar Mantar.
Upadhyay was the key organiser of the anti-Muslim event in the national capital.
“Conspiracy is no doubt hatched behind closed doors and the investigation in the present matter is at a nascent stage; that, however, does not imply that liberty of a citizen be curtailed on mere assertions and apprehension,” Link Metropolitan Magistrate Udbhav Kumar Jain, in his order, observed.
According to report by Indian Express, the court held that as far as the offence under IPC Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) is concerned, “except for mere assertion, there is nothing on record to show that the alleged hate speech to promote enmity between different groups was done in the presence or at the behest of the applicant/accused. “
“Even during hearing, this court has inquired from APP and, so far, there is nothing against the accused in the alleged video. It is not the case where there are chances that applicant/accused will abscond,” Magistrate added.
The Hindu nationalist leader Upadhyay was released on bail subject to furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with one surety of the like amount.
Delhi Police opposed the bail application and told the court that Upadhyay was a speaker at the event and whether he was present during the time of sloganeering is under investigation.
“Jab mulle kaate jayenge, Ram-Ram chillayenge [Muslims will chant Ram-Ram when they will be slaughtered],” slogans were shouted during the event.
Many civil groups including opposition parties have demanded the arrest of key organisers of ‘Bharat Jodo Movement’ which police claimed happened without permission. Over 5000 people gathered in Jantar Mantar, barely two kilometres away from Parliament, responding to a call given Upadhyay.
BJP leader Gajendra Chauhan was among the participants.
This was the second incident in the past week where slogans calling for violence against Muslims were shouted in the national capital.
On Friday, Bharatiya Janata Party and other local Hindutva groups held an anti-Muslim Mahapanchayat, at Bharthal Chowk in New Delhi’s Dwarka against the construction of Haj House in Sector 22 of the area. Videos from the Islamophobic event show the hundreds of Hindutva activists making anti-Muslim comments and calling for violence if the Haj House is built.
Videos of Friday’s event showed Hinduta activists chanting “Jai Shri Ram” and “Vande Mataram” during a rally. They also shouted slogans such as: “Ye bhumi hamaari hai, iska faisla hum karenge (This is our land and we will decide its fate).”