The Delhi Police on Saturday arrested two women in connection with their alleged role in the North-east Delhi riots in February this year. These two activists, Devangana Katila (30) and Natasha Narwal (32) are the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University and belong to the Pinjra Tod (Break the Cage) group, a collective of women students and alumni of colleges from across Delhi that seeks to make regulations for hostel and paying guest (PG) accommodation less restrictive for women students.
Pinjra Tod activists said that both Devangana and Natasha were arrested at 6 pm by the police shortly after being interrogated by the New Delhi Range of Special Cell at their homes. “They were arrested from their homes in an FIR registered by the Jafrabad police station, after an interrogation by the Special Cell… police did not give reasons to their family members for their arrest,” the group said on its Facebook page. This pattern resonates with the arrests of the Jamia students Meera Haider, Safoora Zargar, Shifa-Ur-Rehman, and Asif Iqbal Tanha under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Meanwhile, the DCP of Northeast Delhi, Ved Prakash Surya has confirmed that the two activists had been arrested under Sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public duties) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code. Interestingly, the FIR registered against them makes no mention of an assault or criminal force against a public servant.
UPDATE ON THE ARREST OF TWO STUDENT ACTIVISTS FROM PINJRATODTwo activists from Pinjratod, Devangana and Natasha have…
The FIR merely states 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, a day before the communal violence that took place in the Northeast Delhi. While the FIR mentions that the group blocked traffic and raised slogans against CAA, there is no allegation of violence whatsoever against them.
Devangana is pursuing her MPhil degree at the Centre of Women’s Studies and has graduated from the Miranda House while Natasha is a Ph.D. student at the Centre for Historical Studies and is a graduate from the Hindu College.
With inputs from The Wire.