Who Is Natasha Narwal? Activist Jailed Under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act

In 2020, Natasha Narwal was arrested on May 24 for allegedly engaging in "premeditated conspiracy" in the northeast Delhi riots of February 2020.

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Who Is Natasha Narwal: Pinjda Tod activist Natasha Narwal, who has been in jail since May 24 last year, was granted a bail of three weeks to perform the last rites of her father Mahavir Narwal who died of COVID-19 in May.

The Delhi High Court on May 10 had ruled the three-week bail for Narwal as her brother is in isolation and there is nobody to perform the last rites of Mahavir Narwal.

She has also been asked to furnish a bail amount of ₹50,000 to the jail superintendent with her phone number to the SHO special cell of the Delhi Police and the Rohtak Police. Natasha Narwal has been reportedly asked to not "tweet anything" during her interim bail.

The Delhi High Court bench noted that the activist's application for bail is "imperative in this hour of grief and personal loss".

On June 15, 2021, Narwal was granted bail by the Delhi High Court alongside fellow Pinjra Tod activist Devangana Kalita and Jamia Millia student activist Asif Iqbal Tanha. The bail was granted on a personal bond of rupees 50,000 and two local sureties. The Delhi High Court also instructed Narwal, Kalita and Tanha to surrender their passports and "not indulge in activities that could hamper the investigation in the case."

While Narwal was granted bail previously in the Delhi riots case, the bail issued on June 15 was in reference to the case registered under FIR 59- that probes the conspiracy behind the NE Delhi violence of February 2020.

Who is Natasha Narwal?

  • The activist is associated with a student organisation named Pinjda Tod which was founded in 2015 to protest against the hostel curfews for women in Delhi colleges. She is a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
  • In 2020, Narwal was arrested on May 24 for allegedly engaging in "premeditated conspiracy" in the northeast Delhi riots of February 2020. She was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. She was protesting against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act proposed by the central government.
  • A Delhi court had granted her bail on September 17, 2020, as there weren't enough evidence to prove that she instigated the violence during the riots. However, she had to remain in jail as there were other cases filed against her, accusing her of being part of a conspiracy that led to the violence and riots in Jaffrabad, New Delhi. The riots had started after a clash between the anti-CAA and the pro-CAA protestors.
  • Judge Amitabh Rawat who granted her bail in September said that Narwal was seen participating in an unlawful assembly in certain videos submitted to court but the videos didn't prove her part in inciting the violence.
  • Narwal's father, Mahavir Narwal was a senior member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-m). According to a report by PTI, Mahavir was not allowed to speak to his daughter in jail before he passed away. He was with his son Aakash Narwal, who has tested positive for the virus, at the time of his death.
  • Mahavir Narwal was Natasha's only parent alive as the activist had lost her mother at the age of 13.

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