Delhi High Court has granted bail to three UAPA accused Jamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha, JNU Students Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal in North East Delhi riots case

By Shams Tabrez Qasmi

Delhi High Court grants bail to Asif Iqbal Tanha, Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal in Delhi Riots case

The case pertains to Delhi police probe into the “larger conspiracy” that led to the riots in the capital’s North-East area in February 2020.

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted bail to Asif Iqbal Tanha, Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal in a Delhi Riots case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. (Asif Iqbal Tanha vs State) (Devangana Kalita vs State) (Natasha Narwal vs State).

The order was pronounced by a Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup J Bhambhani.

The Court has held that prima facie, no offence under sections 15, 17 or 18 UAPA is made-out on the basis of the material on record in the present case against the three.

Bail is subject to personal bond of Rs 50,000 and two local sureties. Conditions for bail include the three surrendering their passports and not indulging in activities that would hamper the case.

The case pertains to Delhi police probe into the “larger conspiracy” that led to the riots in the capital’s North-East area in February 2020.

Asif Iqbal Tanha is a student pursuing his final year of B.A. (Hons.) (Persian) Programme at Jamia Millia Islamia. He was arrested in the Delhi riots case under UAPA in May 2020 and has been in continuous custody since then.

Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita are scholars at Jawaharlal Nehru University, who are associated with the Pinjra Tod Collective. They have also been in custody since May 2020.

The three will walk of jail now upon completion of formalities.

As per Delhi Police, following the Citizenship Amendement Act, Tanha, Kalita and Narwal, along with other accused persons, conspired to cause disruption of such an extent and such a magnitude at the national capital that would lead to disorderliness and disturbance of law and order at an unprecedented scale.

Members of Pinjra Tod mobilized women in the North-East area of Delhi and created a 24/7 protest site at Madina Masjid, Seelampur as part of a pre-planned conspiracy.

The day for coordinated chakka jaam and inciting violence was chosen on the basis that there could have been no greater international embarrassment for the Government of India than to have a communal riot in the national capital at the time of the visit of a US President, the chargesheet stated.

Advocates Adit S Pujari, Tusharika Mattoo, Kunal Negi appeared for Kalita and Narwal. Senior Advocate Siddharth Aggarwal with Advocate Sowjhanya Shankaran, Siddharth Satija, Abhinav Sekhari, Nitika Khaitan appeared for Tanha.

State was represented by ASG SV Raju and SPPs Amit Mahajan, Amit Prasad, Rajat Nair.