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Pinjra Tod Activists Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal Granted Bail In Delhi Riots Case

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Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal granted bail: Nearly a year after their arrest in connection with the Delhi riots case, the Delhi High Court has granted bail to three accused – Pinjra Tod activists Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal and Jamia Millia student Asif Iqbal Tanha – on Tuesday, June 15. They were booked in the northeast Delhi riots conspiracy case filed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

They walked out of Tihar jail on the evening of June 17.

Kalita and Narwal were arrested a year ago for allegedly being part of a premeditated conspiracy behind the communal violence that broke out in northeast Delhi in February 2020 during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). The Bench announced granted them bail on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and two local sureties. Furthermore, the High Court has directed the three of them to surrender their passports and not indulge in activities that could hamper the investigation in the case, Bar and Bench reported.

Narwal,a  Jawaharlal Nehru University scholar, had lost her father in May to cOVId-19. She was granted bail after the demise of her father, Mahavir Narwal, to perform his last rites. Following she returned to the Tihar Jail, where she had been lodged for over a year. Earlier, this year, she was granted bail for riots that broke out in February last year but remained in custody for a separate case related to the communal violence.

On June 15, the activists have been granted bail in the case registered under FIR 59 – one of the northeast Delhi riots cases that aim to unravel the alleged large-scale conspiracy that the Delhi Police special cell has been probing. More on that here.

Devangana Kalita Natasha Narwal granted bail: While Narwal and Kalita are PhD scholars at JNU, who are also associated with the Pinjra Tod Collective, Iqbal Tanha is a student of B.A. (Hons.) (Persian) Programme at Jamia Millia Islamia.

Why were the activists arrested?

Narwal and Kalita were arrested in May 2020 for their alleged role in communal violence in north-east Delhi that broke out in February last year. A senior police officer had said that they had collected enough evidence against the activists in connection with a conspiracy case associated with the northeast Delhi riots and that they were being investigated by the special cell, The Wire reported. More on UAPA here.

The two JNU students are also members of Pinjra Tod, which was founded in 2015, to oppose hostel curfews at Delhi’s colleges.