Judge dismisses Safoora Zargar’s bail plea, says ‘when you choose to play with embers…’
A Delhi court has dismissed the bail plea of activist Safoora Zargar, who was recently booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, in a case related to communal violence in northeast Delhi during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in February.
“When you choose to play with embers, you cannot blame the wind to have carried the spark a bit too far and spread the fire. The acts and inflammatory speeches of the co-conspirators are admissible under the Indian Evidence Act even against the accused,” Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana stated.
According to PTI which reported the developments, the court said that even if there were no direct acts of violence attributable to the accused (Zargar), she cannot shy away from her liability under the provisions of the anti-terror Act.
Zargar, a MPhil student of Jamia Millia Islamia University, is 21 weeks pregnant and currently lodged in Tihar jail under judicial custody in the case. Keeping in mind her “precarious medical condition” the court asked the Tihar Jail Superintendent to provide adequate medical aid and assistance to her.
“I cannot also agree with the defence counsel that the accused (Zargar) is only liable for her individual acts and the speeches delivered or the acts of the other members of the group cannot be read against her. In my considered opinion, if there was prima evidence of existence of a conspiracy, the evidence of acts and statements made by any one of the conspirators in furtherance of the common object is admissible against all,” said the judge.
Young activist Safoora Zargar became the eye of a social media storm recently that questioned not just her integrity but also her marital status and pregnancy. Zargar, a 27-year-old Jamia Millia Islamia student has been in jail since April 1oth. She was charged with the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 2019 (UAPA) and since then her bail has been rejected. Passing inappropriate remarks, recently social media took to commenting on her pregnancy, her marital status, talked of the DNA of the unborn child and more.
The court, said in its order, that “any activity which has a tendency to create a disorder or disturbance of law and order to such an extent that the entire city is brought to its knees and the entire government machinery is brought to a grinding halt, would obviously be treated as an unlawful activity.”
Delhi police recently also arrested two Jawaharlal Nehru University students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita related to their role in allegedly organising an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest in Jaffrabad in North East Delhi. It’s the same protest for which Safoora was arrested.
JNU Student Union President Aishe Ghosh came out in support of Safoora recently and said in an interview to SheThePeople, “The online sexual harassment that Safoora is continuously facing is disturbing not only for activists but for women generally who have an opinion and speak or write about it on social media.”
Report with inputs from PTI