Delhi riots: Ishrat Jahan seeks bail, says police has no evidence in conspiracy case

 Former Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan, arrested under the stringent law UAPA, sought bail on Friday in the north-east Delhi riots conspiracy case saying that Delhi Police does not have "an iota of evidence" against her.

Jahan and several others have been booked under the anti-terror law in the case and are accused of being the "masterminds" of the February 2020 riots, which had left 53 people dead and over 700 injured.

The intent was to falsely implicate me. The investigating agency (police) does not have an iota of evidence to show that I am connected to the conspiracy, said advocate Pradeep Teotia, appearing for Jahan, while arguing for her bail before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat.

Teotia further challenged the prosecution to show the evidence which qualifies her to be implicated under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), adding that her case is on a better footing than those who have been granted bail in the case.

The counsel also objected to the prosecution's allegations that Jahan helped in financing the protest and violence and took the court through her financial transactions. He also questioned the credibility of witnesses in the case.

The transactions made by me are normal and routine. My pattern never changed. The evidence is piecemeal and not in totality. If shown properly, it will be known that I am not guilty, he added.

Jahan has been a lawyer, a young political person with brilliant acumen but has been shown to be kattar [hardcore], he said, adding that a wrong image of her is being projected by the investigating agency.

This is the first time the accused has sought regular bail in the matter. In November last year, the court had denied interim bail to her considering the gravity of the offences including those lodged under UAPA.

Jahan had been granted interim bail for ten days to get married and was directed not to tamper with the evidence or influence the witnesses. Her marriage was fixed for June 12, 2020.

Besides Ishrat Jahan, Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha, JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, former student leader Umar Khalid, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain and several others have also been booked under the anti-terror law in the case.

The Delhi High Court had recently granted bail to Tanha, Narwal, and Kalita in the case, saying the State blurred the line between the right to protest and terrorist activity in anxiety to suppress dissent.