Anti-CAA protest: Pinjra Tod activists granted bail, rearrested

Students under the banner of Pinjra Tod protest against violence on campus. Special arrangement  

Two Pinjra Tod women activists, who, on Sunday, were enlarged on bail in connection with the anti-CAA protest in Jafrabad, were re-arrested moments later in another case of rioting, murder and other charges related to the north-east Delhi riots.

Ms. Natasha Narwal and Ms. Devangana Kalita, were initially arrested on Saturday in relation with an FIR registered on February 24 over the sit-in protest at Jafrabad Metro Station against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The Delhi police had sought two days custody stating that they were “active in anti-India activities”.

Read | First chargesheet filed in Delhi riots case

Metropolitan Magistrate Ajeet Narayan, rejected the plea moved by Delhi police and granted bail to the two women in the first FIR.

“Facts of the case reveal that the accused were merely protesting against the NRC and CAA, and the accused did not indulge into any violence,” the court said adding, “the accused have strong roots in the society and they are well educated. Accused are ready to cooperate with the police regarding the investigation.”

“Also, considering the situation that accused are vulnerable to current pandemic of COVID-19, this court is not inclined to give PC (police custody) remand of the accused,” the court said.

Both Ms. Narwal and Ms. Kalita, after being enlarged on bail, were arrested immediately by the Crime Branch in connection with a separate FIR registered in connection with the Delhi riots with charges ranging from section 147 (rioting), 353 (using criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 307 (attempt to murder), 302 (murder) among others.

The FIR also named relevant sections of the Arms Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

They were produced before the same judge, who had granted them bail, by the crime branch seeking 14-day remand. The investigating officer said that the accused have to be thoroughly interrogated at length to know the conspiracy behind the incidents and the identity of the co-accused has to be established.

Advocates Adit S. Pujari, Tusharika Mattoo and Kunal Negi, representing the two activists, , opposed the crime branch application, saying both Ms. Kalita and Ms. Narwal have been implicated in the case malafidely.

“Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, and the initial stage of the investigation, both the accused Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita are remanded to two days’ police custody,” Metropolitan Magistrate Narayan said.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 12:06:54 PM |

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