Protests against remarks against the Prophet: Harapur court orders release of 8 defendants after police find no evidence against them

A local court in Saharanpur has ordered the release of eight people, who were arrested for the June 10 violence during a protest against comments made against the Prophet by suspended BJP spokespersons, after police found no evidence against them.

The families of the eight people had submitted CCTV footage to police showing that the defendants were not present at the scene of the violence on June 10. Afterwards, the police filed a petition with the local court, saying they had no evidence against the eight people.

“We have asked the investigating officer (IO) of the file to verify the assertions of the families of the eight defendants. The OI reviewed the videos and photographs of the violence and found that they were not present in any of them. We then filed a request to the court under article 169 of the CrPC (requests the release of the accused when the evidence is insufficient). The court then ordered their release,” said Additional Superintendent of Police (Saharpur) Rajesh Kumar.

Police have so far arrested 85 people in Saharanpur, including the eight whose release orders have been issued, and filed three FIRS in connection with the June 10 violence.

“During the investigation, it was discovered that they (the eight defendants) were not present at the scene where the violence took place. Since their innocence has been proven, we asked the court on Saturday to release them. release,” said Ashok Solanki, station house officer (Kotwali town).

Among these eight freed is Mohammad Ali, 19, who works as a laborer in a sawmill.

“After offering prayers at a local mosque, my son went to his sister’s house in Nadeem settlement, which is far from where the violence took place. To prove my claim, I submitted footage from CCTV cameras installed at locations where Ali was present when the protests took place. The CCTV footage was collected from the homes of people in the area,” Asma, Ali’s mother, told the Indian Express over the phone.

“My son got out of jail this morning,” she added.

According to Asma, her son was among those beaten by a policeman with a stick inside a police station in a viral video. “My son had broken hands because of this,” she said.

After the video went viral, the then SSP (Saharpur) ordered an investigation into the video. Police said the investigation into the viral video is still ongoing.

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