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Activist Sadaf Jafar, Arrested for Violence During Anti-CAA Protests in Lucknow, Granted Bail

Retired IPS officer SR Darapuri and Congress worker Sadaf Jafar

Retired IPS officer SR Darapuri and Congress worker Sadaf Jafar

According to the order, the Uttar Pradesh Police failed to present any direct evidence against Jafar, Darapuri and the others for their role in vandalism and arson during the protests.

New Delhi: A sessions court in Lucknow on Saturday granted bail to activist and Congress worker Sadaf Jafar, former IPS officer SR Darapuri, and 10 others in connection with violence during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Uttar Pradesh last month.

Arrested for alleged involvement in the violence during protests in the state capital on December 19, the court of Additional Sessions Judge SS Pandey asked the accused to furnish two sureties of Rs 50,000 each and personal bonds of an equal amount.

According to the order, the Uttar Pradesh Police failed to present any direct evidence against Jafar, Darapuri and the others for their role in vandalism and arson during the protests.

Jafar was arrested on December 19 while she was live on Facebook from the spot where protests against the amended citizenship law had gone violent. Police had said she was arrested for her involvement in clashes.

Harjot Singh, Jafar's lawyer, expressed gratitude to the court that granted bail on Saturday since it would remain closed the next day. “Hopefully Sadaf will be able to walk out of jail on Monday. The FIR registered was generic and more than 40 people were implicated in serious sections like 307 (attempted murder). Subsequently, the police failed to prove any charges,” said Singh.

The judge had reserved his orders on the bail applications of Jafar, Darapuri and the other accused on Friday, after hearing the individual pleas as well as the submissions of the government lawyer.

According to government lawyer Deepak Yadav, the Hazratganj Police had arrested them under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and Section 7 of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1932. The accused were arrested and sent to judicial custody.

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Thursday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to file its reply within two weeks on a petition seeking quashing of the FIR filed against Jafar for her participation in a protest against the CAA. A bench of Justices Shabihul Hasnain and Virendra Kumar II passed the order on a writ petition moved on Jafar's behalf.

Apart from challenging the FIR and seeking declaration of her arrest as illegal, the petitioner has also demanded that the investigation in the matter be conducted by an officer of the rank of superintendent of police and under the court's supervision. The court posted the matter after two weeks for the next hearing.

(With inputs from PTI)

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