Anti-CAA protests: Activists arrested for ‘violence’ in Lucknow to spend New Year in jail
All the 280 people arrested in connection with the December 19-20 anti-CAA protests in Lucknow and the violence associated with it may have to spend another week in jail, as their bail pleas are listed for hearing at the sessions court from January 3 onward, said a city-based advocate on Wednesday.
Voices for the immediate release of social activists Sadaf Jafar, 43, Deepak Kabir, 40 and retired IPS officer and political activist SR Darapuri, 76, are growing louder with every passing day, with people increasingly taking to the social media and saying that they never resorted to violence.
To recall, the FIR lodged at the Hazratganj police station here in connection with the December 19 violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) named 34 people, including Sadaf Jafar, advocate and president of ‘Rihai Manch’ Mohammad Shoaib, and activist Deepak Kabir who are all currently in judicial custody.
“Sadaf’s bail plea will now be heard in the sessions court on January 3. She is totally innocent and was sent to judicial custody on the basis of a generic FIR. There was no specific evidence against her,” said advocate Harjot Singh.
Advocate Amir Naqvi said that hearing on the bail pleas of the other protesters would also happen around the same time. “They will have to stay in jail till at least January 1,” he said.
Meanwhile, Darapuri’s son Ved Kumar said that his father was under house arrest on December 19 and did not move out at all on the protest day. “Police visited our home and took him to the Ghazipur police station. From there to Hazratganj and then to the jail on December 21. He did not incite anyone to vandalise public property,” said Kumar.
Dinkar Kapoor, an activist of the socio-political organisation ‘Swaraj Abhiyan’ who works alongside Darapuri, said, “Police action against Darapuri is a result of political vendetta. He is 76 and a patient of cancer. How come he was kept in judicial custody for such a long time?”
Beena, wife of Deepak Kabir, dubbed the charges levelled against her husband false. “We’ll go to the court for justice. Only those found involved in violence should have been arrested. We will move his bail application on January 3 once the court reopens. Senior advocate IB Singh is hopeful that my husband will be released,” she said.
Sadaf’s sister Naheed Verma said, “My sister is a single parent. The state machinery should release her as she never resorted to vandalism. She was protesting peacefully.”