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Delhi Riots: HC Seeks Police's Reply on JNU Student and Pinjra Tod Member's Bail Plea

Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait issued notice to the Delhi Police on the plea challenging a trial court's order which had dismissed the bail application of JNU student Devangana Kalita.

The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought response of the police on a plea by a member of Pinjra Tod, a women's collective, seeking bail on a case related to the communal violence in north east Delhi during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in February.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait issued notice to the Delhi Police on the plea challenging a trial court's order which had dismissed the bail application of JNU student Devangana Kalita.

The high court listed the matter for further hearing on August 14. Kalita and another member of the group Natasha Narwal were arrested in the case in May by the Crime Branch of the Delhi police and booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including rioting, unlawful assembly and attempt to murder.

They have also been booked under the stringent anti-terror law - Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in a separate case related to the communal violence, for allegedly being part of a "premeditated conspiracy" in the riots.

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

In all, four cases have been registered against her, including in relation to the northeast Delhi riots earlier this year and violence in old Delhi''s Daryaganj area during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in December last year. Kalita has secured bail in two cases — Daryaganj and one north east Delhi matter.

On June 14, a trial court had dismissed Kalita's bail plea on the ground that there was no merit in the application and that it was amply clear from the charge sheet that the investigation was still pending and it has been filed against other accused persons also. It had said that considering the investigation so far and the nature of the offence and the role being ascribed to the accused, there were no reasons at all to grant bail.

The trial court was informed that the charge sheet has been filed against 10 persons in the case and investigation qua the accused persons was still being done. Pinjra Tod (Break the Cage) was founded in 2015 with an aim to make hostels and paying guest accommodations less restrictive for women students.