Delhi Riots: High Court grants bail to three student activists in UAPA case

Web News Observer 28

Delhi High Court today granted bail to three activists in the Delhi riots case. These activists include Pinjra Tod Sangathan members Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita and Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha.

All three are facing cases under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

While granting bail, the court told the government that it must understand the difference between the constitutional right to protest and terrorist activities.

Reversing the orders of the lower court not granting bail to the three activists, the High Court Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani said, “We are constrained to say, that it appears, that in its anxiety to suppress dissent, and in the morbid fear that matters may get out of hand, the state has blurred the line between the constitutionally guaranteed ‘right to protest’ and ‘terrorist activity. If such blurring gains traction, democracy would be in peril,”

The High Court has granted bail to the three on the condition of production of a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties each. Apart from this, their passports have been deposited, and they have been asked to give their phone numbers to the local SHO.

They will have to stay at the address recorded in the jail records and have been asked to inform the station head if it is changed.

The trio has also been asked to stay away from activities affecting the investigation.

According to a report in the Indian Express, four cases related to the Delhi riots against Devangana and three against Natasha are going on. He has been granted bail in all these. The lower court had refused bail to both of them, saying that prima facie, the allegations against them seem to be true. However, his lawyer argued in the High Court, saying that questions are being raised on the case investigation.
At the same time, the bail application of Jamia University student Iqbal Tanha was rejected by the lower court in October 2020, saying that he played an active role in the entire conspiracy of the Delhi riots.
In the High Court, the police said that the riots were pre-planned and Tanha was part of the conspiracy. His lawyer said that Tanha was not in Delhi at the time of the riots. Tanha was currently out on interim bail to appear for the examination.
In February last year, there were riots in several areas of North-East Delhi for three consecutive days. Former US President Trump was on a visit to India during that time. Fifty-three people died in the riots, while around 500 were injured. A Delhi Police head constable was also among the dead. There was also a heavy loss of property in the riots. The rioters had set fire to whatever came forward, including houses, shops and vehicles.