A district court on Monday gave bail to five men accused of ransacking and setting on fire Uttar Pradesh Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi's house in July as police failed to provide any evidence against the accused.
The accused men - Guddu Yadav, Shiv Kumar Singh, Inder Singh, Zameel Khan and Susajit Tiwari - were granted bail on sureties of Rs. 20,000 each.
"They were given bail after CB-CID (crime branch-criminal investigation department) officials failed to produce any evidence to prove that they were behind the incident," counsel Gopal Chaturvedi told reporters.
Joshi's house was set ablaze on July 15, allegedly by ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) activists to avenge her offensive remarks against Chief Minister Mayawati.
However, after the arrest of the accused, police were not able to find any criminal records against them.
All five were booked under sections 147 (rioting), 504 (intentional insult with the intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), 427 (mischief causing damage to property) and 436 (mischief by fire, explosive with intent to destroy house etc) of the Indian Penal Code.
On July 16, Subodh Srivastava, congress spokesperson, filed a criminal complaint against Jitendra Singh, BSP legislator from Bikapur in Faizabad district, accusing him of leading the mob that set Joshi's house on fire.
"He had his face covered and along with over a dozen masked men ransacked Joshi's house and set three vehicles and the house on fire. He also gave bytes to some news channels after the attack and even took responsibility," Srivastava said.