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Delhi riots: Devangana Kalita, Natasha, and Asif Iqbal granted bail by HC

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted bail to Devangana and Natasha Asif Iqbal Tanha, These people were arrested in Delhi riots

By Ground Report
New Update
Court orders immediate release of Natasha, Devangana, and Iqbal

Delhi Police registered a total of 751 FIRs related to the riots

Ground Report | New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted bail to activists Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal and Jamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha, who were arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). These people were arrested in the Delhi riots. All of them have got bail in FIR No. 59 related to the riots in which sections of UAPA were included.

All three have got bail in many more cases, after which they can now come out of jail. The High Court has directed the three accused to submit their passports and neither influence the witnesses nor tamper with the evidence.

Kalita and Narwal are members of the women's rights group Pinjra Tod, while Tanha is a student of Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia University. He was charged in the case under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

A court of judges Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambani granted bail to the defendants and noted that the charges against them do not reveal prima facie the commission of any crime under Sections 15 (Terrorist act), 17 (Punishment for collecting funds for a terrorist act) and 18 (Sanction for conspiracy) of the UAPA. The Superior Court held that, therefore, the additional conditions, limitations and restrictions on the posting of the bond under Section 43D (5) of the UAPA do not apply.

The Court indicated in the Iqbal order that in the charge sheet there were no more specific accusations other than "those that were intended to be spun by mere grandiloquence."

“We are forced 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 blur a bit. If this mentality gains strength, it would be a sad day for democracy, ”the order said.

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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.

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.

This is a list of people who were arrested on the basis of separate FIRs but later their names were added to the FIR-59 of the UAPA, in this case Umar Khalid is the only person whose name was already in that FIR.

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Khalid Saifi - United Against Hate

Ishrat Jahan- Former Congress Councilor

Safoora Zargar - MPhil student, Jamia

Meeran Haider - PhD student, Jamia

Gulfishan Fatima- MBA student, Ghaziabad

Shadab Ahmed - Jamia Student

Shifa-ur-Rehman- Jamia Alumni

Natasha Narwal - JNU student, member of 'Pinjra Tod'

Devangana Kalita - JNU student, member of 'Pinjra Tod'

Asif Iqbal Tanha- Jamia Student

Umar Khalid - Former JNU student

Sharjeel Imam - JNU Student

Tahir Hussain - Former 'AAP' councilor

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