Activist duo Ekta and Ravi Shekhar, along with fifty-six others who were arrested for protesting against the Citizenship Act in Varanasi, were granted bail on Wednesday, nearly two weeks after they were jailed.
The couple runs an NGO called Climate Agenda that helps combat air pollution and have are parents to a 14-months old girl.
“My baby daughter Champak is dependent on my milk, I was worried about her,” Ekta said. “It was very tough for me”.
Ekta Shekhar who was arrested along with her husband during protests against Citizenship Amendment Act in Varanasi on 19th December, has been granted bail. Ekta says, "My baby daughter Champak is dependent on my milk, I was worried about her. It was very tough for me". pic.twitter.com/ZhaIk61P01
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 2, 2020
Over 60 people were arrested in Varanasi, including students from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and civil society members. They were taken into custody on December 19 when they gathered in large numbers in Beniya Bagh, violating section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
While the couple was in jail, the baby was taken care of by her grandmother, Sheela Tiwari and other family members.
The family reached out for help and support from people as they were concerned about the infant’s condition. They also tried to seek help from the Congress General Secretary, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who lashed out at the BJP government on the issue.
भाजपा सरकार ने नागरिक प्रदर्शनों को दबाने के लिए ऐसी अमानवीयता दिखाई है कि एक छोटे से बच्चे को मां-बाप से जुदा कर दिया है। चंचल की तबीयत खराब हो गई है लेकिन भाजपा सरकार की खराब नियत पर कोई असर नहीं पड़ा है। चंचल के माता पिता शांतिपूर्ण प्रदर्शन करने के चलते जेल में हैं। pic.twitter.com/GhYUmzc9jb
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) January 1, 2020
The Additional Sessions Judge, Sarvesh Kumar Pande granted bail to Ekta and Ravi after the submission of two bail bonds each of Rs 25,000.
As the Citizenship Amendment Act continues to stir the country, nearly 1000 people are under arrest and 5,558 have been kept in detention centres in Uttar Pradesh alone.
Several people have died amid the violence and many suffered bullet injuries across Uttar Pradesh. The death toll for the state stands at 21.