Delhi High Court Grants Bail to Asif Iqbal Tanha, Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal

The court responded- In the mind of the state the line between the constitutionally guaranteed right to protest and terrorist activity is getting blurred.

Delhi high Court Bail
Source: Indian Express

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted bail to activists Asif Iqbal Tanha, Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, in the case concerning the Delhi Progrom in February of last year. The three were booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The order was pronounced by a bench consisting of Judges Siddharth Mridul and Anup J Bhambhani. The Bail is subject to personal bond of Rs 50,000. The three have to surrender their passports and not ‘indulge in activities that would hamper the case’,under the conditions of the bail order.

As per Delhi Police, the three were part of a ‘larger conspiracy’ that led to the North East Delhi Violence. According to the police, following the Citizenship Amendment Act, Tanha, Kalita and Narwal, and other accused persons, planned to create disruption of such an extent that it would lead to disorderliness and disturbance of law and order.

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.

Natasha Narwal lost her father, Mahavir Narwal a month ago due to COVID related complications. She could not see her father for the last time.

The Bench in response to the state’s attempt to shift blame on the Delhi progrom onto activists, said this:

“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.

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