Arrested for Insulting Ambedkar, Jain University Students Receive Bail
Bengaluru: All nine persons who were arrested for performing an insensitive skit on Dr BR Ambedkar received bail on Tuesday evening. The bail order is subject to several conditions, including a personal bond of Rs 1,00,000 each. They have also been ordered not to “indulge in committing similar offences” and to be present for court hearings. The bail application was heard at the court of the LXX Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge and Special Judge, Bengaluru.
As per the bail order, the petitioners argued that the skit was performed with the intention to “show the problems faced by the downtrodden and to impart the concept of equal treatment and brotherhood.” They also argued that the complainant did not watch the entire skit and filed the complaint only after watching edited excerpts of the act on Twitter. The court also notes that the complainant did not watch the play in person at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) convention centre. The complainant is Madhusudhan KN, Deputy Director of the Social Welfare Department. The Special Public Prosecutor opposed the bail application. Since many of the accused are students whose careers would be affected by further imprisonment, the court saw fit to grant bail to all nine persons.
On February 8, students of CMS Jain University, Bengaluru, took part in a ‘mad ads’ competition at a college fest. Their skit attempted to generate humour by caricaturing Dr BR Ambedkar. However, after videos of the skit went viral, protests erupted in Bengaluru as well as in Maharashtra. A First Information Report (FIR) was lodged on February 10 at the Siddapura Police Station, Bengaluru. On February 13, seven students and two members of staff were arrested and sent to the Parappan Agrahara prison in Bengaluru. They have been charged under the SC/St (prevention of atrocities) act, 1989. Other sections include the Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 295A (outraging religious feelings), 153A (promoting enmity between groups) and 149 (unlawful assembly). They have spent seven days in jail.
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