A special court in Manipur on Friday granted bail to the five village defence volunteers who were arrested by police for possessing weapons amid an agitation for their release, officials said.
They were released on bail after furnishing a PR bond of Rs 50,000 with certain conditions, they said.
In its order, the court said the five accused "shall co-operate with the investigation", make themselves available before the investigating authorities and "not influence prosecution witnesses." The court also directed the youths "not to leave the state of Manipur without its prior permission." Rejecting the remand prayer of Manipur police for judicial custody, the court said, "all the accused persons have not yet committed any prejudicial activities against the state till the time of the arrest." Defying curfew restrictions, hundreds of women sat in front of the Cheirap court premises in Imphal West district, where the hearing was held demanding the release of the five youths.
The state had witnessed widespread clashes between security forces and protesters on Thursday after demonstrators attempted to storm police stations as part of "court arrest agitation" over government's failure to release the five youths.
The five were arrested by Manipur Police on September 16 for possession of weapons and donning camouflage uniforms. They were later produced before the judicial magistrate in Imphal East which remanded them to police custody till Friday.
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