Lawyer and noted tribal rights activist Sudha Bharadwaj was released on Thursday morning after spending more than three years in jail in connection with the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad caste violence case. Bhardwaj was arrested on 28 August 2018.
The special NIA court on Wednesday fixed 16 conditions of Bhardwaj’s bail. The Bombay High Court had on December 1 directed Bhardwaj to appear before a special court to decide on her bail conditions after granting her default bail.
The special court directed her to be released on a personal bond of Rs.50,000/- and cash surety of Rs.50,000/-. Further, she was given three months to arrange for one or more sureties of equal amount.
Bhardwaj was released from the Byculla Women’s Jail yesterday after the NIA court fixed the bail conditions. She is the first person to get default bail in this case.
Approving her release, Supreme Court Judge Justice UU Lalit, Justice SR Bhat and Justice Bela M Trivedi had said, “We see no reason to interfere with the High Court order. Therefore the petition is dismissed.”
Sudha Bharadwaj gave up her US Citizenship to fight for people’s rights in India
The 57-year-old, noted human rights lawyer, was born in Massachusetts as an American citizen. Apparently, she gave up her US citizenship at the age of 18 and came to India.
She studied at IIT-Kanpur. When she completed her graduation, she was horrified seeing the condition of the labourers in U.P., Bihar and West Bengal. It was then that she decided to work for them and joined the Chhattisgarh Liberation Front in 1986.
Bharadwaj has also been working for people affected by the land acquisitions by the big private companies.
She has been living in Chhattisgarh for three decades now and has made it her home. She lives with the workers in their basti and is also a mother to an adopted Chhattisgarhi daughter.