A Mumbai court extended the the bail of the Editor of an Urdu daily, at the centre of a controversy over publishing a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad, even as she wrote a blog to admit the “mistake” and seek “forgiveness”, while claiming she was being “hounded and harassed”.
Additional Sessions Judge A J Patangankar adjourned the hearing of the anticipatory bail application of Shirin Dalvi, Editor of ‘Avadhnama’, whose edition here has shut down after the publication of the cartoon triggered an outrage, and extended her interim protection from arrest till February 10.
The Mumbai police opposed granting of pre-arrest bail to Dalvi saying it would create law and order problem as people from the Muslim community were outraged over reproduction of the cartoon published by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which was the target of a terror attack last month.
“The accused, Shirin Dalvi, editor of an Urdu daily Avadhnama, has hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community and granting her anticipatory bail will create law and order problem,” the police told the court.
Dalvi was arrested from Mumbra in neighbouring Thane district following a complaint after the cartoon was published on January 17 and released on bail by the concerned court later.
However, another case was registered against her with the N M Joshi Marg police station in Mumbai after which she approached the sessions court here last week to seek anticipatory bail, claiming the article was non-defamatory and did not hurt the religious sentiments of anybody.
She also said she had already apologised for reproducing the cartoon. Islam prohibits any form of idolatry and publication of cartoons of the Prophet is considered blasphemous.
The editor also told the court that she, in her official capacity, had only exercised her fundamental right to speech and expression.
In a blog written for a TV news channel, Dalvi began with an apology for having printed the cover of Charlie Hebdo.