Varun Gandhi walks out of jail on two-week parole (Roundup)

April 16th, 2009 - 9:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Etah (Uttar Pradesh)/New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Varun Gandhi Thursday walked out of Etah jail in Uttar Pradesh after the Supreme Court granted him two-week parole after 20-day detention to allow him to contest the Lok Sabha polls with the rider - no more hate speeches.
Attired in a maroon kurta pyjama, the BJP’s Pilibhit candidate walked out of the jail around 6.30 p.m, to a tumultuous welcome from BJP supporters, who were shouting slogans like “Varun Gandhi Zindabad” and “Maneka Gandhi Zindabad”.

His mother and BJP leader Maneka Gandhi was there to receive him. They drove away in an SUV and headed for Agra en route to New Delhi.

Varun was arrested March 28 for his allegedly inflammatory campaign speeches.

Before stepping into the green SUV, Varun Gandhi waved to his supporters, some of whom flung garlands at him, as a heavy police presence prevented them from getting close.

“His supporters wanted to take out a procession but we did not give permission as Section 144 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC is in force in the district,” Etah District Magistrate Gaurav Dayal told IANS.

“We did not want another Plibhit-like incident here,” he added.

Varun had earlier planned to go to Bareli but changed his plan, Dayal said.

The apex court earlier in the day ordered Varun’s “forthwith release” for two weeks to enable him to file his nomination papers for the Pilibhit Lok Sabha seat and campaign for the polls.

While Maneka Gandhi, a former central minister, was ushered inside the jail premises along with her personal aide, party workers waiting outside intermittently raised slogans in their support.

Varun’s speeches in Dalchand locality of Pilibhit town, about 300 km from Lucknow, March 7 and at Barkhera village March 8, reportedly targeting Muslims, had created a controversy. He was arrested March 28.

He was charged with provisions under the stringent NSA the next day as his arrest came amid violence by his supporters who clashed with police.

He was initially lodged in Pilibhit jail but moved to Etah jail for security reasons.

The apex court ordered Varun’s release pending a final decision on his lawsuit challenging his detention under the stringent NSA by the Uttar Pradesh government.

He was released after he submitted an affidavit to Etah jail authorities, as per the court’s directive, swearing that he would not make provocative speeches during the poll campaign.

He will be filing a similar affidavit to the Supreme Court by Monday.

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