Pinjra Tod Activists Natasha Narwal And Devangna Kalita Walk Out Of Tihar Jail

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Natasha Narwal And Devangna Kalita: After the Delhi High Court granted bail to student activists Natasha Narwal And Devangna Kalita on June 15, the two along with another student activist Asif Iqbal Tanha released from Tihar jail on June 17.

The release order was issued to the activists via email on Thursday. The release order had been delayed after Delhi police asked for time to verify the permanent address of the activists. Challenging this, Narwal, Tanha and Kalita approached the court on June 17.

On the Delhi police appeal to grant more time, Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Bedi said, “I would say that this(verification of permanent address) by itself cannot be a plausible reason for the accused to be kept imprisoned till the time such reports are filed.”

He added, “The accused is directed to be released forthwith as per orders of the Delhi High Court.”

The three activists were released from Tihar jail after one year. They were arrested in May 2020 in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots. They were accused of being part of a conspiracy that led to violence in the capital and were also charged under sections 13, 16, 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The activists were protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Natasha Narwal had been granted bail in September last year as she was acquitted of a few charges but since the UAPA still applied on her, she was to remain in prison. The bail granted is not applicable under a section of the act. Recently she was given an interim bail to perform the last rites of her father who had passed away due to COVID-19.

Another activist, Asif Iqbal Tanha had also been out on interim bail to give his exams.

Delhi Police has appealed to the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court’s judgement to grant bail to the activists. On June 18, the Supreme Court heard the plea and said that it is not satisfied by the Delhi Court’s order and it will not be treated as a precedent by any court. The top court however didn’t rule against the bail order.