The Uttar Pradesh government has moved a local court here seeking the revocation of bail of three activists who were accused of vandalism during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) on December 19, 2019.
The court of additional sessions judge, Lucknow, had issued summons to Congress activist Sadaf Jafar, theatre personality Deepak Mishra alias Deepak Kabir and advocate Mohammad Shoaib.
On Thursday, the court listed the next hearing in the matter for September 5 after the accused prayed for more time to respond to the application, a copy of which was not immediately available to all of them.
The three persons are among the 57 accused in the anti-CAA protests whose names, photos and addresses were displayed on hoardings erected across Lucknow by the administration earlier this year in a bid to ‘name and shame’ them.
In its application seeking the revocation of Mr. Shoaib’s bail, the government said that he had violated a condition of his bail (January 15), stipulating that he would not be involved in any criminal act. On January 30, Mr. Shoaib was among 13 persons booked by the Lucknow police on charges of leading a candle-lit march at the Hussainabad clocktower protest on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. The police accused the septuagenarian lawyer of inspiring and instigating those participating in the “illegal” protest.
If the accused’s bail was not cancelled, he would continue to participate in illegal protests and dharna and enkindle the protesters, which could lead to damage to public life, the application said.
Mr. Shoaib, however, said that while he was present at the clocktower, he “did not participate” in any candle-lit march. “I have not violated any bail conditions. Any case lodged is not necessarily considered a violation of the bail conditions,” he said.
Ms. Jafar said her lawyer appeared on her behalf and sought time to file an objection. Ms. Jafar accused the Yogi Adityanath-led government of harassing activists to polarise communities and distract people from its failures.
“The situation is very grim in Uttar Pradesh when it comes to law and order. And every day there is an atrocity against women and Dalits,” she said. “They have nothing to show to the people, so they are trying to go after anti-CAA protesters to polarise communities by portraying the anti-CAA protest as Muslims against the government and harass us.”
In its application for cancellation of bail against Ms. Jafar, the government said she had violated the bail conditions as she had been booked for allegedly participating in “illegal” protests at the Hussainabad Clocktower on Janaury 17 and January 24.
Ms. Jafar submitted that she faced three FIRs related to protests at the Hussainabad Clocktower here where women had staged a sit-in against the CAA-NRC till the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to evict the premises.