Friends, family shed tears of joy as they welcome JNU students

JNU students wait for the release of their friends outside Tihar jail on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Hemani Bhandari

“I can’t wait to hold her and feed her favourite food when she gets home,” said JNU student Devangana Kalita’s husband Andre Ling, who welcomed her at Tihar Prison Complex on Thursday evening after completing court formalities.

Wearing a blue mekhela chador – a traditional attire of Assamese women, gifted by mother – Devangana stepped out of Tihar Prison gate number 3 along with Natasha Narwal a little after 7 p.m. on Thursday evening and hugged her husband with a wide smile “It’s been a long and difficult year of waiting with so many twists and turns. I am finally relieved,” said Mr. Ling.

Around 6 p.m., JNU students started gathering outside Tihar for the three to be released by 7 p.m. The crowd grew bigger with their close friends and family joining.

Praise for judiciary

Ms. Natasha’s paternal uncle Virender Singh Malik, criticised Delhi Police for the two-day delay and praised the judiciary. “This order has raised hopes among other detainees on such charges. Justice delayed, though not denied but in one sense, it was denied as Dr. Narwala (Natasha’s father) is not with us. He just kept waiting for her release,” he said.

Shortly after 7 p.m., a friend peeped through the hole in the gate and started raising slogans, bringing cheer among the crowd. The pitch of the slogans increased and minutes later, Devangana and Natasha stepped out amid the roaring. “Saare pinjre todengeitihas ki dhara modenge” the two joined the crowd. A friend’s eyes welled up with tears of joy.

Asif’s friends welcomed him outside gate number 4 without the crowd. Though his family was away, his friends made sure his mother saw him speak outside the jail through a video call from Jharkhand. “I am very proud of him,” she said, teary-eyed.

Standing at a distance, Devangana laughed and said: “I can’t quite believe I am out of jail. I think I’ll continue to feel that someone will come and arrest me from home tomorrow”. The trio then came together for a picture with their fists held high.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 5:52:44 PM |

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