It was on September 25 that three women from Kerala - Muhsina (31), her mother-in-law Naseema (62) and Haleema (65) - were arrested by the Gosaiganj police in Uttar Pradesh. The police had accused them of falsifying their RT-PCR test results while trying to visit their kin who were housed in a Lucknow jail for UAPA cases. A month later, on October 23, they managed to get bail. But it was only on October 31, more than a week after they secured the bail, that they were finally released from prison.
The three women have finally reached back home days after getting bail. A relative of Muhsina confirmed to TNM that the women are back at their homes. “They reached the Cochin International Airport by 11.30 am on Monday (November 1) and went to their house in Pathanamthitta. Muhsina, Naseema and Haleema came in the same flight,” Muhsina’s brother-in-law Azhar Badruddin told TNM.
Muhsina’s husband Anshad Badruddin and Haleema’s son Firoz Khan are members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and have been lodged in the Lucknow prison since February 2021 under the Unlawful Atrocities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The Uttar Pradesh police had arrested the two men while they were on their way to New Delhi, accusing them of planning bomb blasts in the state.
Muhsina, along with her mother-in-law Naseema and her seven-year-old son, had gone to Uttar Pradesh to meet Anshad Badruddin. They were accompanied by two other women and four children from Malappuram district. The women had planned to return to Kerala in two days.The women, however, couldn't meet their relatives in jail, and instead three of them got jailed.
The Lucknow Additional Sessions Court while granting bail noted that the police placed no evidence on record to show that any of the women had COVID-19 infection. “No previous criminal history of the accused has been filed by the prosecution,” the court noted.
Advocate Naseer, who dealt with the case, told TNM, “They secured bail on October 23, but conditions are such that they could come out only on October 31. First, a police report and then a Tahasildar’s report was delayed. Just ways to keep them inside.” The lawyer argued in court that the women had come to Uttar Pradesh with an RT-PCR test result from a Kerala lab, but they were forced to take one more as their stay in Lucknow was prolonged. “They paid money and got the results from a lab. If anyone has to be questioned, it is the lab. Why should the women be jailed? This is what we argued in court,” the lawyer told TNM.
The women along with the children had gone to Uttar Pradesh as Anshad expressed the desire to meet his mother and son. They planned to meet Anshad and Firoz at a court in Uttar Pradesh on September 24. But both weren’t presented in the court that day, though a hearing was scheduled. On September 25, they went to the prison where Anshad and Firoz were lodged, hoping to meet them there. However, they had to come back without meeting the imprisoned men as the police denied permission. On the same evening, the police arrested the three women from the place they were staying, according to Azhar's earlier statement to TNM.