Why Pinjra Tod Activists Arrested Again Minutes After Getting Bail

The two women were first arrested for their alleged role in the Jafrabad sit-in protest on Saturday, 23 May.

2 min read
The two women were arrested for their alleged rile in Jafrabad sit-in protest on Saturday, 23 May.

A day after Pinjra Tod members Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal were arrested over their alleged role in the anti-CAA Jafrabad sit-in protest earlier in February, a Delhi court on Sunday, 24 May, granted them bail.

However, within minutes of the bail being granted, the Special Investigation Team of the Crime Branch moved an application seeking the arrest of the two women again – on charges of attempt to murder, rioting and criminal conspiracy.

The two women were arrested for their alleged role in the Jafrabad sit-in protest on Saturday, 23 May.

According to the court order, accessed by The Quint, here’s what unfolded:


‘Well Educated, Strong Roots in Society’: Grounds on Which Court Granted Bail

The court said that the case filed under Section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was “non-maintainable” as the two activists “were merely protesting against NRC and CAA.”

Duty Magistrate Ajit Narayan observed that both Kalita and Narwal have strong roots in society and are well-educated.

“Facts of the case reveal that the accused were merely protesting against CAA and NRC and did not indulge in any violence. Also, the accused have strong roots in the society and are well-educated. Accused are also ready to cooperate with the police regarding the investigation,” he observed.

The judge also noted that arresting the accused makes them more vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Also considering the situation that the accused are vulnerable to the current pandemic of COVID-19, this court is not inclined to give police custody remand of the accused and application of police remand is declined.”

Why Were the Two Women Arrested Again?

The investigating officer from Delhi Police Crime Branch, who was reportedly waiting on the sidelines, moved an application seeking 14-day custody of the two activists in connection with another FIR against them.

The new FIR was filed under IPC Section 307 (attempt to murder), Section 120B (criminal conspiracy), offences under Arms Act and Prevention of Destruction of Public Property Act.

Advocates Adit Pujari and Tusharika Mattoo appearing for the two women opposed the justification for the arrest and the nature of the FIR, stating that they have been implicated in the case in a mala fide manner.

However, the Delhi court sent the two activists to two days of police custody till 26 May. The next hearing is also scheduled on the same date.

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