The Delhi High Court has sought the police response on a plea by a member of Pinjra Tod, a women’s collective, seeking bail in a case related to the communal violence in northeast Delhi during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in February.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru issued notice to Delhi Police on the plea challenging a trial court’s order which had dismissed the bail application of JNU student Natasha Narwal.
“Issue notice. Amit Mahajan, Special PP accepts notice and seeks ten days time to file a status report. Let the same be filed within the said period with a copy to the counsel for the petitioner (Narwal),” the court said and listed the matter for further hearing on August 26.
Narwal and another member of the group Devangana Kalita were arrested in the case in May this year by the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police and booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including rioting, unlawful assembly and attempt to murder.
They have also been booked under the stringent anti-terror law – Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in a separate case related to the communal violence, for allegedly being part of a “premeditated conspiracy” in the riots.
Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.
In all, four cases have been registered against Kalita, including in relation to the northeast Delhi riots earlier this year and violence in old Delhi’s Daryaganj area during protests against the CAA in December last year. Natasha is accused in three cases.
On June 14, a trial court had dismissed bail pleas of Natasha and Kalita on the ground that there was no merit in the applications and that it was amply clear from the charge sheet that the investigation was still pending and it has been filed against other accused persons also.
It had said that considering the investigation so far and the nature of the offence and the role being ascribed to the accused, there were no reasons at all to grant bail.
The trial court was informed that the charge sheet has been filed against 10 persons in the case and investigation qua the accused persons was still being done.
Kalita has also challenged the trial court’s order denying her bail and the matter is listed for hearing on August 14.
Pinjra Tod (Break the Cage) was founded in 2015 to make hostels and paying guest accommodations less restrictive for women students.
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