A court in India has granted bail to two female activists arrested in May 2020 over an anti-government protest.
Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita joined the sit-in last year against a controversial citizenship law a day before deadly riots broke out in Delhi, reports the BBC.
They were among several protesting activists who have since been charged under a stringent anti-terrorism law.
The two-judge bench criticised the government for confusing the right to protest with terrorist activity.
In a strongly-worded order, the high court in Delhi said: "We are constrained to express, that it seems, that in its anxiety to suppress dissent, in the mind of the state, the line between the constitutionally guaranteed right to protest and terrorist activity seems to be getting somewhat blurred. If this mindset gains traction, it would be a sad day for democracy."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has been accused of using the pandemic to crack down on dissent. A colonial-era sedition law and an anti-terrorism law that makes it nearly impossible for the accused to get bail (UAPA) have been widely used to jail activists, journalists and protesters.
On Tuesday, the court also granted bail to Asif Iqbl Tanha, a student activist who was arrested in May last year for his participation in protests days before the rioting.