Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister on Wednesday slammed the decision of a special National Investigation Agency court, which denied bail to People’s Democratic Party youth wing leader Waheed Parra.
Stating that the charges against him were ‘grave, serious and heinous in nature’, the special court rejected the bail application of Parra who the Indian probe agency has accused of helping pro-freedom militants of the Hizbul Mujahedeen.
On Twitter, Mehbooba, the People’s Democratic Party president, wrote: “Worrying trend that bail is no more the rule but an exception & an accused is assumed to be guilty without proof.”
She equated Parra’s case to climate activist Disha Ravi, noting the Delhi court’s judgment in the 22-year-old Bengaluru resident’s case on Tuesday. Booked for sedition, Disha has been charged by Delhi Police of conspiring with Khalistani groups to create unrest in India. Granting her bail, the Delhi court had noted: evidence on record was not sufficient to keep a “young lady” with absolutely no criminal antecedents in custody.
“The offence of sedition cannot be invoked to minister to the wounded vanity of the governments,” the court had observed.
“Delhi court’s judgment in Disha Ravi’s case, that mere allegations don’t amount to a crime is in stark contrast with special court’s decision to reject Parra’s bail purely on the basis of accusations without evidence,” the PDP President wrote.
In a 19-page order, the special court in Srinagar noted that a preliminary analysis of evidence collected so far show Parra, who was once the poster boy of right-wing Narendra Modi government, was aiding militancy in Jammu and Kashmir in the garb of a politician.
Parra was detained by the Criminal Investigation Department (Kashmir) and brought from Jammu on transit remand, after his release by an NIA court on January 9. India’s National Investigation Agency had arrested Parra on November 25 in a separate case related to militancy.
Mehbooba said: “Worrying trend that bail is no more the rule but an exception & an accused is assumed to be guilty without proof. The current state of affairs is such that undertrials are jailed for months & even years languishing behind bars before charges are proven.”