Hyderabad: DU professor Hany Babu's family has issued an open appeal seeking for his immediate release from prison, stating that the National Investigation Agency has arrested an innocent man. Even though forensic examinations have found that evidence against the accused persons in the Elgar Parishad case was fabricated, Babu's family says, the courts and investigative agencies are not taking corrective steps. Despite being innocent, Hany has been lodged in Mumbai jail for nine months.
"Hani Babu, who was acquitted for nine months, has been lodged in a Mumbai jail with more than the required number of inmates. When questioned during questioning prior to his arrest, he was told that NIA officials were forcing him to testify in the case or to give evidence against others. He said in the last call that NIA officials were unhappy that he did not agree to it, "the family, including his wife and children, said in a signed petition.
The family also remarked their concerns about the daily reports of COVID positive cases and even deaths in various prisons during the ongoing pandemic.
The letter also alleged that Hany Babu has been denied in-person visits from the beginning. He has also been periodically denied parcels that contained books and even sending/receiving letters and making phone calls seem to be governed by the whims of the authorities concerned.
The letter ended with his family demanding all the evidence, including clone copies, to be immediately made available to the accused so that the defence can also pursue independent investigations to commence the trial at the earliest; and that bail be immediately granted to all the accused till the trial commences as per prevalent rules and regulations.
For those unfamiliar with the case, Hany Babu was unjustly arrested in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case on 28 July 2020, after being summoned to Mumbai by the NIA for five days of pointless interrogation. The arrest was preceded by the first police raid at his home in September 2019 (the second was in August 2020; both intimidating and prolonged) and the confiscation of books, documents & electronic devices, without a proper search warrant or due process and flouting basic procedures of collecting evidence, presumably under UAPA.
He was not immediately provided with a proper inventory or hash value of the seized electronic items, thereby compromising their evidentiary value, and providing further scope for manipulation.