Pinjra Tod activist Natasha Narwal's father Mahavir Narwal died of the novel coronavirus infection on Sunday, family sources said.
Natasha was arrested in May last year for allegedly being part of a premeditated conspiracy in the northeast Delhi riots in February that year. She has been booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The activist has been lodged in Tihar Jail in Delhi.
"Mahavir Narwal was not able to speak to his daughter who is in jail. His son, Aakash, who is also COVID-19 positive, was there with him in Rohtak," sources close to the family said.
Left activists and civil society groups had recently demanded that "political prisoners" be released from jails in view of the surge in coronavirus cases.
Women's rights activist and CPIML politburo member Kavita Krishnan also lashed out at the government and said it was "torture" forcing "feminists" to be in prison while their loved ones die of COVID-19.
"Modi regime tortures feminists, forcing them to be in prison while loved ones die of Covid-19. Young @PinjraTod activist Natasha Narwal is in prison for the crime of protest - under UAPA law which does not allow for bail. Her lovely father Mahavir Narwal just died of Covid-19," she said on Twitter.
Activist Harsh Mander too condoled Mahavir Narwal's death.
"Where there's suffering, my daughter will be there. I'm proud of her". This hero, Mahavir Narwal, father of Natasha in jail for the CAA protests, supports her, with courage hard to find. "I hope she' not in jail so long she doesn't see my face". He died just hours ago of Covid (sic)," he tweeted.
This news has angered not only political leaders and activists but the general public. #JusticeforNatashaNarwal is trending on Twitter today as people are taking to the social media platform to express their condemnation of such an incident.
A common opinion is that this represents the cruelty of those in power who did not let an ailing father meet his daughter before he died.
Here's what people are saying.
With inputs from PTI.