What is ‘Pinjra Tod’ and why is it trending on Twitter?
What is ‘Pinjra Tod’ and why is it trending on Twitter?
Photo via The Quint

The Delhi Police have arrested two members of Pinjra Tod, Devangana Kalita (30) and Natasha Narwal (32) - a women’s student organisation, in connection with their alleged role in the anti-CAA (Citizenship (Amendment) Act) protests held in February this year.

According to reports the two women were a part of the mob that gathered during the anti-CAA protest at the Jaffrabad Metro Station in North East Delhi, which prompted a pro-CAA rally by BJP’s Kapil Mishra, and a day later riots broke out in the national capital.

According to The Indian Express, The women have been arrested after an FIR was registered earlier. They were detained under IPC sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty).”

Both will be questioned by the Crime Branch SIT and Delhi Police Special Cell, and are scheduled to appear in court on Sunday.

Meanwhile Twitter is fumed over the arrests made amid the coronavirus pandemic.

What is Pinjra Tod?

Pinjra Tod (Break the Cage) is a collective of women made up of the students and alumni of various colleges in Delhi formed in 2015. The group seeks to end the imposition of curfews on women in hostels and other accommodations, help provide affordable accommodation, ensure the formation of elected Internal Complaint Committees to deal with problems pertaining to sexual harassment in universities, and so on.

Who are Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal?

Devangana is an MPhil student at the Centre for Women’s Studies, she graduated from DU’s Miranda House, and Natasha is a PhD student at the Centre for Historical Studies, who graduated from Hindu College. The two are founding members of the Pinjra Tod collective.

Pinjra Tod released a statement on social media. It read as, “They were arrested from their homes in an FIR registered by Jafrabad police station, after interrogation by the Special Cell… Police did not give reasons to their families for their arrest.”

“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,” it added.

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