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Not a flight risk, court observes while granting bail to student activist

Not a flight risk, court observes while granting bail to student activist

New Delhi: Noting that the accused is not a flight risk and there is nothing to suggest that witnesses are under her threat, a local court here on Saturday granted bail to student activist Gulfisha Fatima, accused in a case of rioting and death of one Aman during the north-east Delhi riots earlier this year.

Granting her bail on a bond of Rs. 30,000, Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat noted that, "there is nothing to suggest that the witnesses are under threat from the concerned applicant," adding that, "in any case, two public witnesses are protected and their identity has been concealed. The rest are police personnel." The accused has been in custody for the present case from June 3.

On a submission by the prosecution that Gulfisha is also one of the 15 accused in FIR 59/20 of a "larger conspiracy" during the February riots where they have been charged under sections of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), ASJ Rawat noted that the same is a separate case and the bail application has been moved in the present FIR. "As far as FIR 59/20 is concerned, we will cross the bridge when we come to it."

While stating that nothing is present on record to suggest that the accused is a flight risk, the court, when told by that one co-accused Tafsil has been declared a proclaimed offender, said, "…the present applicant can't be refused bail for the act and conduct of Tafsil, who will face consequences under the law."

The present case involving the student activist pertains to an incident of rioting and vandalism where police allege that a mob blocked the 66 Foota Road, near the Jafrabad Metro Station. "…the violent crowd started pelting stones and firing on the police personnel." After police retaliated in self-defense, "one injured namely Aman died due to gunshot injury caused by the rioters," as per prosecution.

Meanwhile, Advocate Mehmood Pracha, on behalf of Gulfisha, argued that the accused has been "falsely and maliciously implicated in the present case without any evidence."

"…no role has been attributed to the applicant except vague and unsubstantiated allegations which have no nexus with the alleged crime," he submitted. Pinjra Tod activists Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal had also been granted bail in the present case in September this year.

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