Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi, charged with denigrating Dalits, was Saturday granted interim bail till July 29 by a Moradabad court. After her release from jail, Joshi charged the state government with hatching a "political conspiracy" against her.
A Moradabad additional district judge granted Joshi interim bail on two sureties of Rs.30,000 each. She was released from the Moradabad district jail at around 4.30 p.m. to cheering by hundreds of party workers who had been waiting outside the jail since early afternoon.
"This is a political conspiracy against me and the action against me was a result of the personal grudges of Mayawati. I will continue my fight for the Dalits and the poor of the state and for women's empowerment," Joshi told reporters after her release.
Describing the charges against her as "disproportionate and illegal", Joshi told waiting reporters that she was "ready to go to jail a 100 times and I will continue to fight for the poor, downtrodden and women's rights".
She also said that Chief Minister Mayawati, who had got Joshi arrested for her remarks, should resign on "moral grounds at the earliest".
Joshi was arrested after midnight Wednesday under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for her remark. According to party sources, she will go to New Delhi to inform the high command about the entire episode.
"After a long hearing of over three hours, the court granted her bail. The interim bail expires on July 29," Joshi's counsel Anand Mohan Gupta told reporters.
Joshi, after meeting senior party leaders in New Delhi, will go to state capital Lucknow to see her house, which was burnt down in an arson attack on the night she was arrested.
Joshi's house was set on fire allegedly by Bahujan Samaj Party activists Wednesday night following which five people were arrested.
Congress spokesperson Subodh Srivastava has alleged that BSP legislator Jitendra Singh, with his face covered and along with over a dozen masked men, ransacked and set on fire Joshi's house and three vehicles there. "He also spoke to some news channels afterwards and even took responsibility," Srivastava claimed.