Ahmedabad violence: HC grants bail to 4 accused as no specific case is made out
The Gujarat High Court has granted bail to 4 out of 27 persons who were accused for pelting stones at police in Shahpur. The accused were earlier denied bail by Sessions court on the ground that the act of stone pelting and injuring police personnel broke the morale of the police force and that given the seriousness of the charges, if released on bail, the accused would “give strength and momentum to anti-social elements”.
The FIR was lodged on May 8 under IPC sections 307 (attempt to murder), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 143, 145, 147, 149, 151 – (offences related to unlawful assembly and rioting); 152, 186, 332 and 333 (relates to obstructing and causing hurt to public servant), 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety) under section 51 (1)(b) (refuses to comply with any direction given on behalf of central or state government or other authorities) of the Disaster Management Act and section 3 (disobeying any regulation or order issued under this act, amounts to violation of IPC section 188) of Epidemic Diseases Act.
The single judge bench of Justice Gita Gopi of Gujarat High Court granted bail to 4 accused while observing that there were no serious injuries inflicted on the police personnel and further, specific role of the accused has not been established. The court observed, “There is nothing on record to show that any of the police personnel had sustained any kind of injury requiring indoor hospitalization.” Hence, the court granted the accused bail on personal bonds of Rs. 15,000 and certain other conditions such as reporting to a police station and surrender of passport.
The accused, after being arrested on May 8, were presented before Magistrate after 5 days of being arrested, on May 13, as opposed to the 24-hr mandate. The police delayed this claiming they were waiting for Covid-19 test results of the accused. The Magistrate had also questioned the rationale behind invoking charges of attempt to murder.
Although the incident as recounted by the locals seems to be completely different. Contrary to media reports that an alleged scuffle broke out between the police and locals after people reportedly refused to follow lockdown protocol and resorted to stone-pelting upon being confronted, it emerged that police also allegedly viciously beat up several people including aged, disabled and pregnant women.
An eyewitness had told Advocate Suhel Tirmizi, “Women had stepped out at the time of Iftar when we break our daily roza fast to make some purchases. That’s when the cops beat them up. The people got scared and then stone pelting started. Police fired tear gas shells and then started breaking and entering into people’s homes and physically assaulting them.”
Courtesy : Sabrang