RANCHI, Jharkhand, 4 October 2023: Last year, former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s derogatory remark against Prophet Muhammad ﷺ on national television sparked countrywide protests. Violence broke out between police and protesters during a similar protest in Ranchi on June 10, 2022. Consequently, two persons died in alleged police firing and several others including Afsar Alam, Sabir Ansari, Mohammad Usman, Tabarak Qureshi and Sarfaraz Alam received bullet injuries. During their treatment, the police booked a case against them and took them into custody from the hospital itself. Since then, it has been more than 15 months that they are in judicial custody.
Jharkhand Police had registered several cases, including FIR No. 16/2022 and 17/2022 at Daily market Police Station under severe offenses.
The Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) came forward to provide pro-bono legal assistance to all these accused and other protestors in the Ranchi protest cases. Since last year, APCR has been securing bail for these people in multiple protest related cases.
Accepting the arguments of APCR Advocate Mohd Shadab Ansari, Jharkhand High Court’s Justice Rajesh Kumar granted bail to five applicants in two different cases. While three persons will be released soon, others will still have to wait for the decision on their other bail applications pending before the High Court.
APCR Jharkhand State Secretary Ziaullah said that the organization will continue to work to secure justice for the defenseless, vulnerable, and downtrodden.
APCR General Secretary Malik Mohtsim Khan said, “The Association for Protection of Civil Rights will continue its legacy of providing pro-bono legal aid so that the rule of law is upheld. We hope that in hundreds of cases pending in various courts in India, the fundamental rights will be ensured in a similar manner.”
The APCR firmly believes that every accused person is innocent until proven guilty and “Bail is the rule, Jail is the exception,” said Nadeem Khan, APCR National Secretary.