FTII students booked over Babri poster case get interim bail

The court ordered the release of five accused students on bail, requiring a PR bond of Rs 30,000 each, with one surety of the same amount

A banner reading 'Remember Babri: Death of Constitution', with an image of the now demolished mosque, was allegedly put up by students of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune (photo courtesy @BJP4PuneCity/X)
A banner reading 'Remember Babri: Death of Constitution', with an image of the now demolished mosque, was allegedly put up by students of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune (photo courtesy @BJP4PuneCity/X)
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Nadeem Inamdar

A Pune court on Thursday granted interim anticipatory bail to five FTII students who were booked by the Deccan Police for offences punishable under section 153 B(1)(c) and 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on 23 January (Tuesday).

The students were booked for hurting religious beliefs after they had allegedly put up a poster referring to the Babri Masjid on the FTII campus on 22 January, the day of the inauguration of the Ram Mandir at the same site in Ayodhya.

The following day, 23 January, a Hindutva mob barged into the campus, assaulted students, and tore down and burnt the poster, which read ‘Remember Babri / Death of Constitution ’.

The FIR against the students was lodged by a Hindutva group identified as the Samast Hindu Bandhav Samajik Sanstha.

However, the mob that attacked members of the FTII students association, injuring three who were taken to the hospital, were from a different right-wing outfit, reportedly.

The police booked six members of that Hindutva outfit as well, based on FTII security in-charge Sanjay Jadhav’s complaint. They were booked under charges like criminal trespassing, unlawful assembly, rioting, mischief causing damage to properties, intentional insult, and criminal intimidation. 

The local ABVP unit also registered a statement with the police, demanding action against the students.

The court in its order on the accused students stated that in the event of their arrest, the accused—Sayantan Chakrabarti, Triasha Manna, Madhurima Maiti, Mankap Nokwoham and Ritagik Bhattacharya—may be released on bail on executing a PR bond of Rs 30,000 each, with one surety of the like amount.

The accused are directed not to threaten any prosecution witnesses or tamper with any evidence or further investigation.

The accused were also directed to present themselves at the Deccan Police Station for investigation of the crime as and when directed by the investigating officer.

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