Delhi pogrom UAPA case: Ishrat Jahan gets bail

A Delhi Court on Monday granted the bail to former Congress councillor and anti-CAA activist Ishrat Jahan in the UAPA case which alleges a larger conspiracy in the northeast Delhi violence that happened in 2020.

She was arrested on 26 February, 2020, and has been under custody since then.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat granted bail to Ishrat after reserving orders last month, Live Law reported.

Meanwhile, orders in the bail pleas moved by co accused Saleem Malik and Sharjeel Imam have been deferred to March 22 and order in Umar Khalid’s bail plea is deferred to March 21.

Jahan is now the sixth person to be granted bail in the much criticised UAPA case and the only one to be granted bail by the sessions court.

The other five who have got bail are Faizan Khan, Safoora Zargar, Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha.

Jahan was among dozens arrested for protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act, which fast-tracks Indian naturalisation for religious minorities – Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians – from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, but makes no reference to Muslims.

The passage of the law, which the United Nations called “fundamentally discriminatory”, saw tens of thousands of Indians taking to the streets. It was during the anti-CAA protests that violence erupted in Muslim neighbourhoods of northeast Delhi in February last year. At least 53 people, most of them Muslims, were killed, and dozens of houses and mosques destroyed.

Rights groups accused the police in Delhi of inaction and complicity in the violence, the worst the capital had seen since the anti-Sikh genocide of 1984.

In the police crackdown that followed the anti-Muslim pogrom, dozens of activists – a large number of them Muslims, some victims of the violence – were accused of instigating the violence and arrested under draconian UAPA and other charges.