Activist who raised pro-Pakistan slogan in Bengaluru anti-CAA protest gets bail

Published : June 12, 2020 00:00 IST

Amulya Leona addressing a protest against the CAA and the NRC in Vijayapura in January. Photo: Rajendra Singh Hajeri

Amulya Leona, a 19-year-old activist and journalism student who was arrested by the Bengaluru police on February 20 for raising a pro-Pakistan slogan at an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act rally, got bail on June 11.

She was denied statutory bail just a day earlier by the 60th Additional City Civil and Sessions Court but was granted ‘bail by default’ by the 5th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court.

Amulya Leona was granted bail on a technicality under Section 167 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code under which a person is granted bail if the charge sheet is not filed within 90 days of the arrest. The charge sheet was filed only on June 4, so she will leave the Parappana Agrahara Jail once the release order is passed.

Amulya Leona took the stage at an anti-CAA rally organised by the Hindu-Muslim-Sikh-Isai Federation on February 20 which was attended by All-India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi. She began her speech saying “Pakistan Zindabad” and went on to repeat it two more times.

Even as the organisers of the event physically prevented here from continuing, Amulya said “Hindustan Zindabad” thrice.

Videos showed that her microphone was snatched away and she began explaining her dramatic sloganeering with the words, “The difference between Pakistan Zindabad and Hindustan Zindabad is…” This explanation remained unfinished as she was whisked away by the police.

Amulya Leona was accused of sedition (Sec. 124[A]) along with other charges under the Indian Penal Code including “promoting enmity between different groups” (Sec. 153[A]), “imputation, assertions prejudicial to national integration" (Sec. 153[B]) and “statements conducing to public mischief” (Sec. 505[2]).

Rejecting her bail plea on June 10 in the sessions court, Justice Vidyadhar Shirahatti said: “If the petitioner is granted bail, she may abscond. Therefore, the bail petition of the petitioner is liable to be rejected.”