- Safoora Zargar was arrested under an anti-terror law
- The student of M.Phil at Jamia university is five months pregnant
- Ms Zargar has to stay in touch with an Investigating Officer on phone
Safoora Zargar, a pregnant Jamia Millia University student arrested under an anti-terror law in a case related to the Delhi violence earlier this year was granted bail today after the police withdrew its objection on "humanitarian grounds".
Safoora Zargar, 27, was three months pregnant when she was arrested on April 10 on conspiracy charges over the riots that broke out in February during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. She had participated in the protests against the new citizenship law.
She was arrested for allegedly obstructing a road near the Jaffrabad metro station but charged later under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The student of M.Phil at Jamia was accused of instigating riots and of being a key conspirator in the violence that left over 50 dead. Her arrest and incarceration provoked strong condemnation from students, activists and rights bodies and sharply divided social media.
The Delhi Police had opposed her bail three times. Today, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the police, said he would not oppose her bail on humanitarian grounds. It had nothing to do with the merits of the case, he asserted.
Just yesterday, Mr Mehta had argued that Ms Zargar should not be granted bail as "the severity of her offence is in no manner mitigated by the fact of her pregnancy."
A "clear and cogent case" had been made out against her and she was accused of "grave and serious offences meticulously and surreptitiously planned and executed by her", the police claimed.
The police also said she had been kept in a separate cell and there was hardly any chance of her contracting coronavirus. 39 deliveries had taken place in Delhi prisons in the last 10 years, argued Mr Mehta.
While granting bail, the High Court said Ms Zargar must not get involved in activities that may harm the investigation. She also cannot leave Delhi without permission and has to stay in touch with an Investigating Officer at least once in 15 days.
"We are thankful to the courts. I also thank our lawyers for their efforts. The family is eagerly looking forward to meet her," her husband Saboor Sirwal said.
Ms Zargar, a member of the Jamia Coordination Committee, approached the High Court after a trial court denied her bail on Thursday. Her lawyer told the court that she was in a delicate state and a fairly advanced stage of pregnancy.
Several rights organizations had called for the release of Ms Zargar and others arrested in Delhi riots cases in the middle of the coronavirus lockdown.