Home » Delhi riots case: Natasha, Devangana, and Asif Iqbal released

Delhi riots case: Natasha, Devangana, and Asif Iqbal released

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The court rejected the argument of confirmation of permanent address of the accused for delay in release

Ground Report | New Delhi: Natasha Devangana Asif Iqbal; Student activists Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, and Asif Iqbal Tanha have come out of jail. The Delhi High Court had granted him bail on Tuesday but he was not released then. A Delhi court had ordered their immediate release on Thursday. After this, all three came out of jail in the evening.

The police had made him an accused under the UAPA Act in the riots in North-East Delhi in February last year. He was arrested in May last year. All three were very vocal in the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Narwal and Kalita are activists of the Pinjra Tod movement and Iqbal Asif is a student of Jamia.

Director-General of Delhi Jail Sandeep Goel has confirmed the release of all three. A senior jail official said, “Natasha and Devangana were released at 7 pm while Tanha was released around 7.30 pm.” On Thursday, Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Bedi of Delhi’s Karkardooma Court dismissed the Delhi Police’s plea seeking three more days for release.

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Natasha Devangana Asif Iqbal; The court rejected the argument of confirmation of the permanent address of the accused of the delay in release. The court said in its order, “This is not an acceptable argument for allowing him to remain in jail even after bail.”

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The reasoning of the police was that verification is taking time. The three student activists had approached the Delhi High Court after they were not released on bail before this order of the Delhi Court. He had said in the court that not releasing despite bail is a violation of the law.

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The Delhi High Court’s bail was challenged by the Delhi Police in the Supreme Court on Wednesday. The Delhi Police in its petition filed in the Supreme Court has said, “The Delhi High Court while granting bail to the accused has failed to understand the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of National Investigation Agency vs Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali. The Delhi High Court not only conducted a mini-trial of the case but also came to a conclusion that is contrary to what came on record and the arguments made during the hearing of the case.

There was a clash between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those who opposed it between 23 February and 26 February 2020. According to the Delhi Police’s affidavit filed in the High Court on July 13, 40 of those killed were Muslims and 13 were Hindus.

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Delhi Police registered a total of 751 FIRs related to the riots. The police had refused to make public the documents related to the Delhi riots. Police argue that much information is ‘sensitive and hence cannot be uploaded on the website. Delhi Police said this on June 16 in response to a petition filed by CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat in the High Court.

In such a situation, gathering information related to the investigation of the riots in North-East Delhi has been a challenge, but the BBC has tried to understand the modalities of the investigation by collecting documents like court orders and FIR-charge-sheets related to the investigation.

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