Safoora Zargar was one of main conspirators, pregnancy no ground for bail: Delhi Police tells court
Delhi Police informed the Delhi high court on Monday that Safoora Zargar, charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for her alleged role in the northeast Delhi riots, was part of a conspiracy to use any means to cause death and injury to people.
The police made its submission in a reply to the court, which will hear the matter again on Tuesday.
Zargar, a MPhil student of Jamia Millia Islamia, was arrested on April 10 for allegedly conspiring with other persons to instigate and start riots in northeast Delhi. At least 53 people died and 400 others were injured in the riots in February.
In a status report, Delhi Police said that based on an investigation, a case was clearly made out from the statements of witnesses. While describing Zargar as one of the “main conspirators and the instigator”, police said the statements of witnesses were allegedly corroborated by her admissions and “extensive documentary evidence”.
Opposing her bail application, police said Zargar and other accused were allegedly involved in a “web of actions animated by unlawful object of creating terror and disaffection”.
Police told the court that Zargar’s “protestations of innocence are phony; her actions are neither licit nor legitimate and she is clearly culpable of criminal wrongs of grave magnitude deserving no indulgence from the court”.
Many student groups across Delhi have held protests seeking Zargar’s release. Students bodies and activists have accused Delhi Police of launching a witch hunt against student activists, especially those who took part in protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
Zargar earlier told the court she was only part of the protests and denied the police allegations.
Delhi Police submitted the status report after Zargar approached the court, seeking bail on the ground that she is more than four months pregnant and has severe medical complications.
Replying to this, police said that their “record reveals a sinister stratagem” and Zargar was not only disposed towards “creating turmoil to severely undermine public order and imperil national security but erode and frustrate the civil compact which holds our polity together”.
Police said that prima facie, a case has been made against Zargar after her WhatsApp chats were analysed by the investigating agency.
The investigating agency said Zargar is not entitled to bail on the ground of pregnancy as the law does not make any distinction in this regard. Police told the court that Delhi’s jails have had many pregnant inmates. They said in that in the past 10 years, 39 deliveries have taken place inside prison.
“It is stated that the law unambiguously contemplates provisions to deal with pregnant criminals, which itself indicates that the law permits use of sanction against this class of offenders. The severity of offence is in no manner mitigated by the factum of pregnancy, the accused is not the only pregnant accused to be entitled to any preferential treatment and there is enough precedence available in law not only of the arrest of the pregnant accused and their detention but even of delivery in prison….,” police said.
Police earlier said that Zargar, currently being held in Tihar Jail, had allegedly blocked a road near Jafrabad Metro station during the anti-CAA protests and instigated people, which led to riots in the area.
On June 4, a city court dismissed her bail plea, stating that “right of speech and expression and for that matter protest or demonstration, is not an absolute right and subject to reasonable restrictions under the Indian Constitution”.