Asianet Newsable

Delhi riots: Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal, Asif Iqbal Tanha granted bail in UAPA case

There is a difference between the "constitutionally guaranteed right to protest" and terrorist activity, the Delhi High Court said Tuesday, as it granted bail to three activists arrested more than a year ago in connection with riots in the national capital over protests against the controversial citizenship law.

Delhi riots: Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal, Asif Iqbal Tanha granted bail in UAPA case-dnm
Author
Bengaluru, First Published Jun 15, 2021, 12:45 PM IST
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Whatsapp

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted bail to three Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) accused, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Natasha Narwal, and Devangana Kalita.

There is a difference between the "constitutionally guaranteed right to protest" and terrorist activity, the Delhi High Court said Tuesday, as it granted bail to three activists arrested more than a year ago in connection with riots in the national capital over protests against the controversial citizenship law.

Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, who are members of women's rights group Pinjra Tod, and Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha were arrested in May 2020, charged with conspiracy under the strict UAPA and denied bail by the trial court.

Granting bail, the bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and A J Bhambhani said, “We are constrained to express, that it seems, that in its anxiety to suppress dissent, in the mind of the State, the line between the constitutionally guaranteed right to protest and terrorist activity seems to be getting somewhat blurred. If this mindset gains traction, it would be a sad day for democracy.”

The bench directed that a copy of the order be supplied to the counsels of the accused persons expeditiously. The court has granted bail to the three accused subject to furnishing Rs 50,000 personal bonds with two local sureties each. The accused will also have to surrender their passports and not indulge in activities that could hamper the investigation in the case.

They have been granted bail in the case registered under FIR 59 – one of the northeast Delhi riots cases that aims to unravel the alleged large-scale conspiracy that the Delhi Police special cell has been probing.

These include providing their respective mobile phone numbers and present residential addresses to the station house officer (SHO), as well as surrendering their passports. Additionally, they cannot contact any of the witnesses of this case, nor tamper with evidence or indulge in any unlawful activity.

For Tanha, the bail order will supersede the interim bail granted to him for appearing in exams.

They (Narwal and Kalita) were booked in three cases, and have been granted bail in all three, including today.

Narwal, who was recently granted bail to attend the last rites of her father, who passed away due to Covid-19, and Kalita were arrested for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to orchestrate riots in Delhi, the Capital’s first since 1984’s anti-Sikh riots. They were specifically accused of calling people to come out and block roads against the central government’s contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Violence broke out in the northeastern parts of Delhi in February last year after tension between supporters of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act and those protesting against it.

Over 50 people died and around 200 were injured in the violence that followed.

NOTE: Asianet News humbly requests everyone to wear masks, sanitize, maintain social distancing and get vaccinated as soon as eligible. Together we can and will break the chain #ANCares #IndiaFightsCorona

Follow Us:
Download App:
  • android
  • ios