Bail after two weeks; Muslim man arrested for packing meat in newspaper leaves jail

Talib Hussain, 58, who was arrested by Sambhal Police for allegedly hurting religious sentiments by selling chicken wrapped in newspapers that had images of Hindu deities was granted bail by Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal district.

Hussain who spent nearly two weeks in prison, was granted bail on Wednesday and released on Friday.

“The case has no merit, Hussain’s lawyer Iqdadar Hussain Pasha said to Maktoob.

“We don’t sell chicken wrapped in newspaper — we have aluminum foils and bags for that. We give only rotis wrapped in newspaper…. We are not insulting any God,” Hussain’s son who claimed that his father was targeted by Islamophobic police, said to reporters.

Sambhal Police booked Talib under IPC Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 295A (outraging religious feelings), 353 (assaulting public servant) and 307 (attempted murder).

Police said they were patrolling the streets when they learnt from an informer that Talib was wrapping meat in old newspapers with photos of Hindu deities.

Workers at the restaurant earlier insisted wrapping food items in newspapers is a common practice and Hussain did not do this to hurt anyone. It was just a matter of chance that Talib used a newspaper carrying images of Hindu gods and goddesses, they added.