Lucknow, Jan 17 (IANS) A 76-year-old human rights activist and lawyer Mohammad Shoaib, who was arrested for the violence that erupted during a anti-citizenship law protest in Lucknow on December 19, has been granted bail after the court found no evidence against him.
Shoaib will be released later in the day.
According to the order, the prosecution failed to produce evidence to show Shoaib’s involvement in violence during the protest.
Additional District Judge S.S. Pandey granted bail to Shoaib considering that he was not named in the first FIR filed by police on the night of December 19 for the violence.
Shoaib was only accused of conspiracy and the prosecution admitted it has not come across any evidence proving Shoaib’s involvement in the arson, the order said.
The court also took into account the fact that the co-accused in the case, activist S.R. Darapuri, had already been granted bail.
Besides, according to the police case diary, injuries to cops including SP (east) Suresh Chandra Rawat were not grievous.
Defence counsel J.S. Siddiqui said that the administration had barred Shoaib from leaving his house since 6.30 p.m. on December 18. The next day, after the violence, police had asked him to accompany them around 11.45 p.m. as “the circle officer wanted to meet him”.
However, police had shown his arrest from Clarks Avadh tri-section around 8.45 p.m. on December 19.
On December 20, Shoaib’s family filed a habeas corpus petition in the high court to seek the reason for his detention. It was then revealed that he had been arrested for involvement in a violent protest against CAA at Parivartan Chowk.
His counsel also argued that it was Shoaib’s fundamental right to peacefully protest against government policies if he disagreed with anything.
The government advocate, however, said Shoaib was among the prime accused for conspiring. He said Shoaib had instigated people to participate in the violence and being an advocate, had used help of his wife to protect himself from arrest.
Bail was granted on furnishing two sureties of Rs 50,000 each along with a personal bond.