Lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj was released from the Byculla jail in Mumbai on Thursday, after spending over 1,000 days in incarceration. She had been granted default bail by the Bombay High Court on December 1.
Bharadwaj had been arrested in August 2018 under the provisions of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, for alleged links to Maoists, who were accused of orchestrating the violence at Bhima-Koregaon in January that year. The plight of Bharadwaj and 15 other activists arrested in the case had been raised at various forums by human rights groups.
On Wednesday, she was produced before a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai to decide her bail conditions.
The NIA court held that Bharadwaj be released on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with one or more solvent sureties of the same amount. It also directed her to inform the NIA as well as the court about her place of residence, contact number and contact details of at least three blood relatives. The court directed her to attend proceedings of trial and ensure the trial not be protracted due to her absence.
She was ordered not to make any statement regarding the proceedings. Bharadwaj was also instructed not to leave the city without the court’s permission.
The Supreme Court had, on Tuesday, dismissed the NIA’s appeal challenging the HC’s order.
Bharadwaj is the first among 16 activists and academicians arrested in the case to have been granted default bail.