The Delhi High Court has granted bail to Devangana Kalita, an activist from a women’s group, Pinjara Tod, in one of the four cases related to the communal violence in northeast Delhi during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in February. Despite the relief, Kalita will not be released from Tihar Jail as her bail plea in the other three cases, most importantly in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case, is still pending.
The case in which Kalita has been granted bail pertains to her alleged role in instigating violence in Jaffarabad area after which an FIR was lodged against her.
In June, the trial court had rejected the bail in this case. She had opposed the allegation stating there was no evidence to corroborate her role in violence in northeast Delhi as she was only the part of a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Though the police failed to provide any CCTV footage, it argued that she participated in the anti-CAA protests and communal violence as part of a "conspiracy to lower the country's image" at the time when President of the United States Donald Trump was on an official visit to India.
A single-judge bench of the High Court considered the allegations in the chargesheet and arguments of both the parties and decided to grant bail to Kalita.
Last week, on August 28, Karkardooma Court dismissed her bail application in case in which the Delhi Police has invoked the UAPA. The police have alleged that the riot was a pre-planned, multi-layered and deep-rooted conspiracy.
“I have no hesitation to hold that there is reasonable ground for believing that the accusations against the accused are prima facie true,” Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat, Karkardooma Court, had said while dismissing her bail application.
Communal riots had engulfed a large part of northeast Delhi for three days from February 24 after protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed in December 2019. The communal violence witnessed over 50 deaths and hundreds injured.
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