New Delhi: On Thursday, a court in Delhi rejected the bail pleas filed by Pinjra Tod members, Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal in relation with conspiracy case in Delhi violence that broke out on February last year. Both were booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for inciting communal violence in the riots that took place in national capital. Pinjra Tod is a collective of women students and alumni of colleges across Delhi which functions to address the issues related to woman. Devangana Kalita is also a student from the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat noted that the allegations against both Devangana and Natasha prima facie seemed to be true and added that provisions of draconian law are 'rightly invoked' against them. Devangana's councel argued that there is no video evidence to prove her involvement in the riots case. For this statement Rawat said "not having a video is not so vital as generally conspiracy, by its very nature, is hatched in secrecy and not having videos of such a conspiracy is obvious rather than doubtful".
Adit Pujari, the councel for Narwal refuted UAPA charges against her and said she was constantly striving for peace and the protest was organic and secular in nature. In Natasha's plea, ASJ Rawat said there are enough evidences against her. Rawat detailed about the 'multi layered, deep-rooted conspiracy' done by Natasha in Delhi riots.
The judge said that the entire conspiracy of intentionally blocking roads to cause inconvenience and disrupt supply of essential services would fall under the definition of the anti-terror law, UAPA. "Hence, the provisions of UAPA have been rightly invoked in the present case," he added.
According to The Print, he based his reasoning on chats of a WhatsApp group called the Delhi Protest Support Group (DPSG), allegedly comprising of anti-CAA activists. The police have claimed that this group had controlled and monitored all protest sites leading to the riots.
Kalita and Narwal were arrested on May 24, 2020 and have been in jail since then.