Jailed PhD scholar and activist Atikur Rahman, who was arrested along with now released Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan while en route to Hathras in October 2020, was granted bail in connection with the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) case against him on Wednesday, 15 March.
However, the 28-year-old activist will continue to be in prison since he is yet to get bail in the Prevention of Money Laundering Activities (PMLA) case against him. At the time of his arrest, Rahman was receiving treatment for a congenital heart condition.
In September last year, Rahman's family and lawyer claimed that he has become “partially-paralysed” and “highly disoriented.” In the view of his deteriorating health, Rahman was admitted at Lucknow’s King George's Medical University (KGMU) hospital.
Concerned for his life, his mother has been demanding his release since.
Back in 2020, The UP Police's Special Task Force booked Rehman and seven others, including journalist Siddique Kappan, under various stringent sections of the IPC like sedition, promoting enmity between groups and UAPA. Later he was also charged under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Kappan walked out of jail in February this year after the Allahabad High Court granted him bail in the PMLA case in December 2022 and the Supreme Court granted him bail in the UAPA case in September 2022.
Besides Kappan, Rahman was arrested along with Alam and Masood -- in Uttar Pradesh in October 2020, while on their way to Hathras to cover the gruesome gangrape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit girl.
The Dalit woman had died at a Delhi hospital a fortnight after she was allegedly gang-raped on September 14 2020.
She was cremated by government authorities in the middle of the night in her village, without informing her family. A court in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras District in March 2023 pronounced a judgment acquitting three of the four accused in the case.