The Allahabad High Court on Friday granted bail to Muslim activist and Welfare Party of India leader Javed Mohammad, who was arrested after a massive protest broke out on June 10 last year in Allahabad against derogatory remarks on Prophet Mohammed by BJP leader Nupur Sharma.
Despite getting bail in the fifth case against him, Javed won’t be released from jail as his bail application is pending in a case registered under draconian NSA, National Security Act.
Prayagraj police arrested the 54-year-old Javed and arbitrarily demolished his house last year. The arrest and demolition were widely condemned by rights groups across globe and Opposition parties in India.
Javed’s family has been alleging that they were targeted because of their Muslim identity and active involvement in protests against Hindutva forces.
Javed’s arrest came and demolition of the house came after days of protests by India’s Muslims against the anti-Islam remarks by two members of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in June 2022.
Muslims in India saw the remarks by the BJP’s Nupur Sharma and former Delhi media cell head Naveen Kumar Jindal as yet another instance of the right wing’s hate speech against the minority community which has spiked since Modi came to power in 2014.
The protests in Allahabad following the Muslim congregational prayers turned violent at some places, with police firing tear gas and baton-charging as demonstrators marched. Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered officials to demolish the establishments and homes of people accused of involvement in the protests.
Javed, who is a community leader, was charged with rioting and the police soon declared him the “mastermind” of the protests in Allahabad.
Javed’s daughter and prominent Muslim student leader Afreen Fatima called the bulldozing of her house “an act of vendetta against her family”, saying the demolition was part of the policies of the BJP government against Muslims exercising their democratic right to protest.