Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi walked out of jail Wednesday, three days after he was charged with sedition. Trivedi, an activist of India Against Corruption (IAC), had been given bail Tuesday. The case had led to outrage in the country.
"This fight, my fight, does not end here. We will continue to fight this battle till the sedition charges under Section 124A (of the Indian Penal Code) are dropped," Trivedi said soon after he came out of the Arthur Road prison where he was lodged.
"We will continue to fight this battle for freedom of expression," he said.
Around 50 people, including key IAC activists like Mayank Gandhi were present outside the prison to receive the 25-year-old cartoonist.
IAC members shouted slogans for around 10 minutes and brought out a small procession after they received Trivedi.
The area around the jail saw heavy security in view of the sensitive situation; 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab is also lodged in the same prison.
Trivedi later thanked the media for supporting him in his fight. In a brief impromptu address to the press, Trivedi said he was grateful for all those people who supported him in his fight to have the sedition charges dropped.
Responding to a question on why he had initially refused bail, Trivedi said he wanted the government to first drop the sedition charges against him.
"I did not want to send out a message that I am not cooperating, but I also wanted the government to accept that it made a mistake by charging me with sedition. That was why I first refused bail," he said.
"However, I am not an uncooperative person, and after the IAC members talked me into it, I accepted bail," he said.
Trivedi maintained that his fight to clear himself of the sedition charges would continue.
Trivedi is set to address the media Wednesday evening.
These developments came after the Bombay High Court granted bail against a bond of Rs. 5,000 to Trivedi in a public interest litigation filed by lawyer Sanskar Marathe. Trivedi was arrested last Saturday and sent to police custody for seven days.
He was charged with sedition for drawing cartoons insulting Indian emblems, including the Constitution, during Anna Hazare' anti-corruption movement in Mumbai December 2011.
Following nationwide outrage, Mumbai police Monday produced him before a court where he was granted judicial custody till Sep 24. Bail was granted to him Tuesday.
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