x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Hazare supporters in Dubai released from jail

Five Indians arrested after protesting in favour of a hunger striker in their homeland will have their day in court in two weeks, officials say.

Anna Hazare walks on stage to break his fast on the 13th day of his hunger strike at the Ramilla grounds in New Delhi.
Anna Hazare walks on stage to break his fast on the 13th day of his hunger strike at the Ramilla grounds in New Delhi.

DUBAI // Five Indian men will be referred to a Dubai court in two weeks' time for organising a march in support of an anti-corruption activist in their home country.

The men, who had spent more than two weeks in detention, were released on Sunday following orders from the Dubai prosecutor general, sources said.

The bail applications for the men had been rejected before Eid.

Three of the men were arrested on charges of using Facebook to plan the Al Mamzar Beach gathering to support Anna Hazare, who had been campaigning against graft and corruption in India.

The other arrests carried charges of encouraging participants by sending letters.

A senior prosecution official said the men, who have denied the charges, claimed they organised the event with good intentions and had not meant to violate UAE law.

Prosecutors were expected to investigate others involved in the case and listen to the testimony of the arresting officers before referring the file to court.

More than 150 Indians attended the three-kilometre walk at Al Mamzar last month carrying Indian flags, banners and wearing badges.

Police sources said the organisers had not obtained permission to gather there.

Mr Hazare, 74, began his hunger strike on August 16 and ended it on August 28 in New Delhi. After spending a few days in a hospital in the capital, he returned to his home village. He lost more than 7 kilogram's during his protest.

salamir@thenational.ae