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Page last updated at 08:23 GMT, Thursday, 16 April 2009 09:23 UK

Court orders Varun Gandhi release

Varun Gandhi
Mr Gandhi denies the accusations made against him

A grandson of ex-India PM Indira Gandhi, detained for inciting religious tension, has been freed on bail for two weeks to continue poll campaigning.

The Supreme Court ordered Varun Gandhi to refrain from "provocative speeches" while he was on parole.

He was detained in Uttar Pradesh under the National Security Act for alleged derogatory comments against Muslims.

He is standing in the election as a candidate of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

BJP officials say Mr Gandhi is now free to file his election nomination papers as a parliamentary candidate by the deadline of 24 April and will continue campaigning for the party.

Mr Gandhi - who was detained last month - has denied making inflammatory speeches and said a recording of them had been "doctored".

The Election Commission said it was convinced that footage of Mr Gandhi's speech had "not been tampered with, doctored or morphed as alleged by the respondent".

Dynasty

His arrest was marked by violent protests by his supporters. Under the National Security Act, a person can be detained up to one year without bail.

The footage of Mr Gandhi's rallies on 6 and 8 March in Pilibhit have been broadcast on Indian television.

Mr Gandhi cannot be barred from contesting elections unless he is convicted or found guilty by courts and sentenced to at least two years in jail.

Mr Gandhi is the son of Sanjay Gandhi, Indira Gandhi's younger son who was killed in a plane crash.

Although he is a descendant of the influential Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Mr Gandhi belongs to a side of the family that has disowned it.



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