Prayagraj Violence over prophet remarks: HC grants bail to activist Javed Mohammed

Javed Mohammed, a Muslim activist and the leader of the Welfare Party of India, was granted bail on Saturday by the Allahabad High Court.

Mohammed was detained on June 10 of last year in Prayagraj after a large demonstration erupted over BJP leader Nupur Sharma’s derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammed.

After his name allegedly came up during questioning of other suspects in the case, Prayagraj police detained the 54-year-old businessman. His house was also demolished arbitrarily.

While granting bail to Javed, a Bench of Justice Sameer Jain observed that “bail is a rule and jail is an exception and bail cannot be rejected for punitive purposes”. Despite receiving bail, Javed won’t be allowed to leave the jail because his applications for bail in two other cases are still pending.

The court said that “it appears that due to the aggression and activeness of the applicant people of his community gathered in large number and thereafter mob committed the violence”.

It said that the “applicant (Javed) does not appear to be instrumental for such violence”.

According to Indian Express, Senior Advocate S F A Naqvi testified on behalf of Javed and told the judge that the accusations made against his client were unfounded.

Naqvi said that Javed “is a social worker and he used to raise voice against atrocity and only due to this reason he was falsely implicated by the police in the present matter.”

Javed was arrested “only due to the reason that he is a whistleblower for his community and always raises voice against atrocities,” the lawyer said.

Additional Advocate General Manish Goyal, who argued on behalf of the state, “opposed the prayer for bail and submits that in the incident a number of police vehicles were damaged and applicant along with other accused persons promoted enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion and race”.

According to Javed’s family, they were singled out for harassment because they identify as Muslims and actively participate in demonstrations against injustices.

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