(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

SC stays Karnataka HC order granting bail to 21 anti-CAA protesters

Two people died in police firing in the communally sensitive coastal district of Karnataka when protests broke out on 19 December.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the order of the Karnataka High Court, which granted bail to 21 people who were involved in the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) agitation that turned violent on 19 December in the district of Mangaluru, about 350 kms from Bengaluru.

The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde also issued notice to the accused on the Special Leave Petition filed by the Karnataka government against the order of granting bail in the case of burning a police station in Mangaluru during the anti-CAA agitations. The petition also apprised the apex court of the adverse remarks made against the Mangaluru police.

Two people died in police firing in the communally sensitive coastal district of Karnataka when protests broke out on 19 December.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing Karnataka government, submitted before the bench, also comprising justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant. that the workers of Popular Front India (PFI) also attacked the police during the violent protest.

Karnataka High Court on 18 February had granted bail to the accused persons on basis of lack of sufficient evidence. “There is no direct evidence to connect the petitioners with the alleged offences," said Justice John Michael Cunha. He had also slammed the Mangaluru Police for naming the two people in the FIR who were killed in the police firing.

The violence in the coastal district had put the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the political opposition on a collision course over alleged police excesses in the district and extensive debates in the state legislature.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa was also criticized for withdrawing compensation of 10 lakhs for the families of the two victims as the government believed that the deceased were rioters and not victims.

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