Assam Courts Grant Bail to 14 UAPA Detainees Held over Pro-Taliban Posts

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The courts ruled that the grounds to keep them in jail were weak

Team Clarion 

NEW DELHI — At least 14 men arrested by the Assam Police for alleged pro-Taliban social media posts in August have been granted bail by local courts.

According to the Indian Express, except one, all of them were booked under the UAPA, an anti-terror law, which makes bail extremely difficult but the courts ruled that the grounds to keep them in jail were weak.

They were arrested on August 21 on the directions of Chief Minister Himanta Biswas Sarma who had asked the police to “act without fear and favour”.

One of the accused who got bail is 49-year-old Maulana Fazlul Karim Qasimi, a former functionary of AIUDF and Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind state secretary. The Gauhati High Court said that apart from a Facebook post, there was “nothing incriminating” against Qasimi

“Even if it is accepted that the applicant is the author of the Facebook post… in the absence of other incriminating materials, it is doubtful as to whether the contents thereof alone would constitute a cognizable offence. Further custodial detention of the applicant would be uncalled for in this case,” the Express report quoted Justice Suman Shyam as saying.

Another accused, Saidul Hoque, a constable with Assam Police, was granted bail on September 22 by Kamrup Sessions Court. While noting that the FIR alleged that the accused posted with the “intention to further the activity of the terrorist group”, the court said, the material available was insufficient to establish that Hoque till date “supports or invites to support terrorist organisations to attract offence u/s 39 of UA(P) Act.”

The report added that Jawed Husain Mazumder (30), Faruk Husain Khan (32), Mozidul Islam (25), Arman Hussain (25), medical student Nadim Akhtar Laskar (23), Maulana Basiruddin Laskar (65) and Maqbool Alam got bail at the initial stage (‘motion stage’) itself, from Gauhati High Court judge Hitesh Kumar Sarma.

Abu Bakkar Sidique (55), a private tutor, the court said his case diary has not been received even after 47 days of detention.

Mujib Uddin, 24, a teacher, and B.Com student Mortuza Hussain Khan, 18, both from Karimganj are also out on bail.

Yaseen Khan, a maulana, who was the only one not slapped with  UAPA, got bail on September 15.

A total of 16 Muslim men were detained over pro-Taliban posts. Two of them — Khandakar Nur Alom, 57, and Saiyad Ahmed, a rickshaw puller — are still behind bars as Dhubri Sessions Court rejected their bail. Now their next hearing is on October 22.

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