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Republic Day violence: Delhi court grants bail to farmer, retired army officer

A Delhi court on Thursday granted bail to a farmer and a retired army officer in a case related to the violence on Day during the tractor parade of farmers against the three farm laws of the Center.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat granted relief to Baljeet Singh and Harjinder Singh on providing bail amounting to Rs 15,000 in case of violence in Seemapuri.

Baljit is a farmer by profession and in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, and Harjinder is a retired Army officer from the Indian Army’s 9th Sikh Light Infantry Battalion and served for 17 years.

The court granted him bail saying that according to the prosecution, the two accused were not driving the tractor nor did they attempt to kill or injure any police personnel.

“However, according to the prosecution, the present applicant (Harjinder) was not driving a tractor nor did he attempt to kill or injure any police personnel. The best case of prosecution is that he participated in the said rally / unlawful assembly on January 26, 2021 at the relevant time, attracting a deputation under section 149 (unlawful assembly) IPC.

“The accused has been in custody since January 26, 2021, and will not be served for any purpose keeping him in custody. There is no previous record of the accused nor is there any allegation of tampering with the evidence.

While granting bail to Harjinder, the court further said that the accused has clean antics, has also served the country and is a retired army officer.

Harjinder’s lawyer said that he has also worked in gender and peacekeeping operations abroad.

It directed the accused not to try to influence the witnesses in the case.

During the hearing, lawyers Tej Pratap Singh and Jaspreet Singh Rai, appearing for both the accused, claimed that they had been falsely implicated in the case and that they were not driving a tractor nor did they break any barricades in the farmers’ parade.

Additional Public Prosecutor Vikas Kumar, appearing on behalf of the police, opposed the bail plea on the grounds that the offenses against the accused were serious in nature.

Thousands of protesters clashed with the police during the tractor parade on 26 January to highlight their demands.

Many of those driving tractors reached the Red Fort and entered the memorial, where a religious flag was also hoisted. More than 500 police personnel were injured and one demonstrator was killed.

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