A Srinagar court has granted bail to Kashmiri Muslim YouTuber Faisal Wani who was arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police for uploading a video where he is shown beheading an effigy of suspended BJP spokeswoman Nupur Sharma. While granting bail to Wani, Ajay Kumar, the judicial magistrate first class, Srinagar, observed that the offences against the accused did not carry severe punishment under the law and the accused was neither a flight risk nor had any criminal antecedents.
Therefore, a refusal of bail in such a case would be unjust, the court said. “The accused has been in police custody for the last 7 days. The offences in question are not very severely punished under the law. Thus, there is no reasonable possibility of the accused fleeing the course of justice. No useful purpose would be served by the further detention of the accused person in any sort of custody. Refusal of bail in such a case would be unjust,” the order stated.
Nupur Sharma had remarked in response to the mockery of Hindu faith in Shiva Linga by communists and Muslims that Mohammed, Islam’s prophet, had married a girl when she was 6 years old and consummated the marriage when she was 9. This led to a furore in the Islamic world but only after several days had elapsed since the debate on India TV. While the BJP suspended her under the pressure, she continued to receive threats of death and rape from Muslims across the world including terrorist organisations. Amid all that, the said Muslim YouTuber had made and uploaded the beheading video.
Police arrested Wani for the video and booked him for offences under Sections 505(2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill will between classes) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code for making and spreading viral video having tendency to create a breach of peace among different classes/communities.
The counsel for Wani argued that he had deleted the video immediately after it was uploaded. He, thereafter, released another video apologising for the content of the earlier video, it was pointed out.
The prosecution argued that the offence was non-bailable and heinous in nature and could affect the fragile and highly charged atmosphere.
Advocate Viqas Ahmad Malik represented Wani while Additional Public Prosecutor Mohsin Khan represented Jammu and Kashmir.
The court, after considering the arguments from both parties to the dispute, directed that the accused be released on bail, subject to his furnishing a personal bond of Rs 20,000 and a surety of the same amount.