BIDAR SEDITION CASE: ACCUSED GET BAIL
A district court in Karnataka’s Bidar on Friday granted conditional bail to the headmistress of a school and the parent of an 11-year-old student accused of making seditious remarks during an anti-caa play.
› We are looking forward to the next hearing on Monday. It’s hard to believe that a satirical play critical of the NRC could attract sedition charge. Police harassed our students for five days. The buck stops with the police for slapping sedition charges
THOUSEEF MADIKERI, the chief executive officer of Shaheen Primary and High School
BENGALURU: A district court in Bidar, Karnataka, on Friday granted conditional bail to the headmistress of Shaheen Primary and High School, Fareeda Begum, and the parent of a 11-year-old student accused of making seditious remarks while staging an anti-citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) play on January 21. The judge ruled that the accused can be released against a personal bond of ~1 lakh each.
Fareeda Begum and Najabunissa are likely to be released on Saturday after the legal formalities are completed.
On January 21, during the school’s annual day celebrations, students of classes 4, 5 and 6 staged a play against the CAA and the contentious National Register of Citizens (NRC). Controversy broke out, when a video clip of the play went viral on the social media.
Nilesh Rakshala, a right-wing activist, filed a case on January 26, based on which the police arrested Fareeda Begum and Najabunissa on January 30 after interrogating several students over five days.
Rakshala had alleged that Najabunissa’s daughter made provocative remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi under headmistress Fareeda Begum‘s watch.
Thouseef Madikeri, the chief executive officer of Shaheen Primary and High School, alleged that the police harassed school authorities and students for staging the anti-caa and NRC play.
“We are looking forward to the next hearing on Monday. It’s hard to believe that a satirical play critical of the NRC could attract sedition charge. Police harassed our students for five days. The buck stops with the police for slapping sedition charges,” Madikeri said.
The judge ordered both the accused to present themselves before the investigating officer, when required, and cooperate fully with the court .
Meanwhile, Karnataka High Court has issued notice to the state government on Friday to respond to a public interest litigation (PIL), which had sought action against the police for questioning minor students of Shaheen Education Society in Bidar. A bench, comprising Chief Justice Abhay S Oka and Hemant Chandangoudar, directed the state government to file its response by Wednesday. However, the court refused to pass any interim order on the matter.
The PIL was filed by advocate Nayana Jyothi Jhawar and South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring. Former advocate general Ravivarma Kumar represented the petitioners.
Earlier on Friday, former Karnataka CM Siddaramiah, who met Fareeda Begum and the Najabunissa in jail, said that the Congress condemns the B S Yeddyurappa-led government’s move and the way the anti-caa and NRC protests have been handled.
He promised that the Congress would support the Shaheen Primary and High School authorities and those individuals who have been ‘wrongly’ charged in the sedition case.