on Friday night, Natasha Narwal was arrested by the Delhi Police's special cell under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for alleged conspiracy in the northeast Delhi riots. This comes a day after Narwal and Kalita were sent to Delhi's Mandoli jail over the other probe. The duo have been remanded in judicial custody till June 11.
"We had enough evidence against Natasha Narwal i'n connection with a conspiracy case associated with the northeast Delhi riots that is being investigated by the special cell. So, we have formally arrested her with the permission from the court," said a senior police officer who did not wish to be identified told news agency PTI.
While the Pinjra Tod had not made any comment on this latest development, their Twitter feed bears posters demanding that the two women be freed.
"End the repression of democratic voices, peaceful protestors! Release all Anti-CAA activists and political prisoners! Resist the state's clampdown on dissent! Release Natasha Narwal!" proclaims one such poster.
Here's all you need to know about the Pinjra Tod activist Natasha Narwal who was arrested under UAPA in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots case:
Two Pinjra Tod women activists Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita who were granted bail earlier in a case related to the northeast Delhi communal violence, were sent to two days of police custody moments later in a separate murder case linked to the riots.
When Metropolitan Magistrate Ajeet Narayan granted bail to Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita in a rioting case, a Delhi Police crime branch investigating officer moved an application for their interrogation and arrest in a separate case of the alleged murder of a local during the riots.
The judge granted them relief in the rioting case on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 20,000.
During the hearing, the police had sought two days of custody of the accused, saying it was necessary for interrogation as they are "active in anti-national activities" and also for arrest of co-accused in the rioting case.
The counsel for the accused opposed the application, saying police had pressed charges with mala fide intent and are "not maintainable".
The lawyer had said the FIR was filed on February 24, subsequent to which Narwal and Kalita had cooperated with the investigative authorities and orally prayed for grant of bail.
The case, in which they were arrested on Saturday, was registered under sections 147 (rioting), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 188 (disobedience of order by public servant), 283 (danger or obstruction in public way), 109 (abetment), 341 (wrongful restraint), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code.
Moments after the court pronounced its order in the case, the investigating officer of the Crime Branch moved an application before it for their interrogation and formal arrest in the murder case.
The police told the court that both the accused have disclosed their involvement in the second case and are named in the disclosure statement of the co-accused.
After interrogating them for 15 minutes, the police moved an application seeking 14 days custody in the murder case, saying accused have to be thoroughly interrogated at length to know the conspiracy behind the incident and the identity of other accused has to be established, and police remand was necessary to arrest the co-accused.
The counsel for the accused opposed it, saying that Narwal and Kalita were implicated in the case with "mala fide" intent.
This time, the court granted two days custody of the accused to the police, saying the investigation was at its initial stage.
The case was registered under sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 283 (danger or obstruction in public way), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 332 (causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 307 (attempt to murder), 302 (murder), 427, 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 188 (disobedience of public servant's order) of the IPC.
The case was also registered under relevant sections of the Arms Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
On May 26, a Delhi court on Tuesday extended by two days the police custody of two women members of the Pinjra Tod group in a case related to the communal violence in northeast Delhi.
Pinjra Tod (Break the Cage) was founded in 2015 with an aim to make hostels and paying guest accommodations less restrictive for women students.
In 2015, Jamia Millia Islamia University had issued a notice restricting female students to stay out after 8 pm.
When the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) questioned the Jamia administration on it, a group of women students decided to protest against the restrictions not only in Jamia but other universities in Delhi. Later named as Pinjra Tod, the group mobilised people around several issues faced by female residents of hostels and PGs.
Well, Narwal has also written articles for The Wire. The recent one being 'How Girls in Rohtak's Maharshi Dayanand University Rose Against Curfew Timings, and Won'.
Apart from The Wire, her article on women empowerment was also published by Newslaundary in 2018.
(With inputs from PTI)