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New Delhi [India], May 25 : A Delhi court on Sunday remanded two members of “Pinjra Tod” to two-day police custody in connection with their alleged role in an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest in northeast Delhi’s Jafrabad.
Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, both students of New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, had been at the forefront of the Pinjra Tod movement, which started as an effort to break punitive hostel curfew hours for women.
Kalita is an MPhil student at the Centre for Women’s Studies, while Narwal is a PhD student at the Centre for Historical Studies.
“Many students and activists have been arrested by Delhi Police in the last few months. We strongly condemn the witch hunt of democratic activists and students being carried out by the state and appeal to the student community and democratic-minded citizens to remain vigilant … in our struggles in face of this repression,” the organisation said.
While no action has been taken against Mishra and his supporters to date, the arrest of the Pinjra Tod activists is being seen as part of the Delhi police’s crackdown on student leaders who had organised against the CAA since December
Duty Magistrate Ajeet Narayan remanded Devangana and Natasha to two-day police custody.The duo was arrested in separate incidents in connection with the case on Saturday but was granted bail by the magistrate on Sunday.
The FIR merely says that the two activists were among those who led a group of women and children to stage a sit-in protest under the Jafrabad overhead metro rail station on the evening of February 22, 2020. While the FIR says that the group blocked traffic and raised slogans against CAA, there is no allegation of violence whatsoever against them.
As soon the court granted them bail, police arrested them in a separate case related to protest and sought 14-day custody. However, the court allowed police to quiz the duo for two days.
The court observed that the investigation in the second case is at the initial stage and allowed the police plea to quiz them till May 26. However, their advocate Adit Pujari has opposed the plea seeking their custody.