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Delhi Riots: Student activists Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, and Asif Iqbal Tanha walk out of Tihar jail

08:02 PM Jun 17, 2021 | FPJ Web Desk

Student activists Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha on Thursday were released from Delhi's Tihar jail.

As the trio stepped out of the jail, speaking to the reporters, Kalita said that they survived because theyreceived tremendous support from friends and well-wishers.

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While Narwal refrained from commenting as the case is still in the court, she, however, thanked the Delhi HC. She said, "We would like to thank Delhi HC for upholding what we believe in. Our protest wasn't terrorism. Instead it was a democratic protest led by women."

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Earlier, in a swift move on Wednesday, the Delhi Police appealed in the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court order granting bail to three student scholars arrested for their alleged role in the Delhi riots conspiracy last year, in which 53 people were killed and mover 400 wounded, accusing it of "going by the social media narrative than the evidence gathered and elaborated in the charge-sheet."

Also Read: Delhi Police appeals against bail to Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha; says ruling will impact other UAPA arrests

The Delhi Police has sought an immediate hearing of its appeal since the High Court ruling may otherwise affect hundreds of arrests made across the country under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967, by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Challenging the High Court decision which has raised the bar for the police to book an individual for terrorism under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, (UAPA)1967, the appeal says the High Court "has not only conducted a mini-trial but has also recorded perverse findings which are contrary to the arguments made during the hearing of the case.’’

"Unfortunately, contrary to the evidence on record and the detailed oral and written submission made, the High Court has decided the case in hand on a pre-conceived and a completely erroneous illusion, as if, the present case was a simply a case of protest by students," the appeal argued.

The police have further alleged the High Court had "completely lost sight of the evidence and statements and it had also discarded the evidence, which clearly made out a sinister plot of mass-scale riots being hatched by the three accused along with other co-conspirators".

Also Read: Delhi HC grants interim bail to Pinjra Tod activist Natasha Narwal to perform last rites of father

Granting bail to the three accused -- Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha -- a bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani had on Tuesday said: "We are constrained to express, 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."

In May 2020, Narwal, Kalita and Tanha, were arrested for their alleged role in the northeast Delhi riots conspiracy case and later, they were booked under the UAPA.

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