In response to imprisoned Jamia student Safoora Zargar’s bail plea, the Delhi Police also submitted that she is receiving adequate medical care in Tihar Jail.
New Delhi: The Delhi Police opposed the bail plea filed by student activist Safoora Zargar before the Delhi High Court, and said her pregnancy does not dilute the gravity of the offence alleged against her.
Zargar was arrested on 10 April and has been charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for her alleged role in the Northeast Delhi riots that broke out in February. An M.Phil. student from Jamia Millia Islamia, Zargar is more than four months pregnant.
The police filed a status report before the high court Sunday evening in response to Zargar’s bail plea. Strongly resisting her prayer for bail on the ground that she is pregnant, the police said Zargar is receiving adequate medical care in Tihar Jail where 39 deliveries have taken place in the last 10 years.
The police’s affidavit, signed by P.S. Khushwah, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, added that Zargar should have kept a check on her activities during her pregnancy.
The severity of the offence committed by Zargar can in no way be “mitigated by the factum of her pregnancy,” and UAPA makes no distinction with regard to those arrested under this law, the police report submitted.
The affidavit was filed in response to Zargar’s bail plea on which notice was issued on 19 June by Justice Rajiv Shakdher.
She is challenging the 4 June order of the trial court that dismissed her bail in the Delhi High Court.
The court adjourned her bail plea Monday after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta took time for more instructions. It will now be heard Tuesday.
No precedent to release pregnant women on bail: Delhi Police
The police said that no exemption has been granted to pregnant inmates accused of heinous offences to be released on bail
“To the contrary, law provides for adequate safeguard and medical attention during their custody in jail,” read the report.
There are precedents to show not only arrest and detention of pregnant women but also their deliveries in jail, the police stated. The guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court are followed in such cases, it added.
Furthermore, the police submitted that the fact that Zargar was “rearing a life,” there “ought to have been a check on activities (by her) which had a potential to cause and which did in fact cause large-scale destruction of life and properties.”
Zargar, it added, is lodged in a separate cell and is being attended by the doctors, apart from being given a “good diet and required medicines”.
“In fact, more care and caution are being practised in jail so far as social distancing norms are concerned that would be available to her outside the jail premises,” said the report.
Zargar is ‘leading conspirator’ in causing large-scale destruction
On the charges against her, the report said there was sufficient electronic evidence to demonstrate Zargar’s involvement in the “sinister design” to create unrest with the “objective of uprooting a democratically elected government.”
She has been described as one of the “leading conspirators” in causing large-scale destruction and riots not only in Delhi but in other parts of the country.
“The sinister and nefarious conspiracy was designed in various levels according to which a façade of a civil disobedience was to be maintained to buckle the government to agree to the illegitimate demands of the accused,” read the status report.
The principle of bail and not jail will not apply in this case because the matter is still under investigation, however, the evidence unearthed so far implicates her in the case, the police claimed.
As a part of the conspiracy to cause riots, it said, simultaneous sit-in protests were organised in 19 different locations and groups were given the responsibility to co-ordinate the demonstrations. Jamia Co-ordination Committee (JCC) was one such group, of which Zargar is a co-founder.
She was the admin of JCC’s WhatsApp group that created, funded and monitored some of these protest sites, according to the police.
The riots during the visit of US President Donald Trump were planned much in advance by accumulating firearms, sharp-edged weapons, petrol bombs, acid bottles, empty bottles, stones, catapults and chilli powder, the police said.