Devangana Kalita, a JNU student who was related to the CAA Delhi riots conspiracy, while granting her bail Delhi High Court observed that the Delhi Police has failed to produce any kind of proof or evidence which shows that Kalita instigated violence or hate speech to the women of a particular community.
After getting through the case diary which was submitted by the Delhi police along with a pen drive in a sealed cover it was seen that Kalita’s presence was peaceful in the riots and she didn’t instigate any violence or gave any hate speech among any community. There wasn’t any proof or material produced which shows that she instigated any violence. The High Court observed after holding that Kalita satisfied all the triple test for the bail to be granted which is, no chance of absconding, no probabilities of tampering evidence and coercing witnesses. The court also noted that the charge sheet has been filed in the case on June 2.
On February 26, 2020, Kalita was arrested with the FIR number 50/2020 registered at the Jafrabad Police Station in relation to communal violence which took place in Northeast Delhi in the last week of February 2020. It was said that Kalita outraged a crowd of a particular community near the Jafrabad metro station on February 22 and 23 with the intention to provoke people to indulge in rioting which led to the loss of lives and destruction of public and private properties. As CAA-NRC was going on for a long time with the presence of print and electronic media the High Court said that it was pretty evident that there was no material which showed that Kalita has indulged or instigated any violence or gave hate speech.
Devangana Kalita is one of the founders of an organization called ‘Pinjra Tod’ which works for gender equality. Kalita was arrested on May 23 along with her friend Natasha Narwal in relation to the FIR registered over the Jafrabad sit-in protest, later on, they were granted bail. But again they were re-arrested in another FIR registered by Crime Branch under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in relation to the alleged conspiracy behind the Delhi riots.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal who appeared for Kalita submitted that she merely organized any protests against CAA- NRC and played no role in the riots. Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, who appeared for Delhi Police said that there was a video showed the evidence that Kalita was a part of the violent crowd at the site of the protest between February 23 to 25. It was further noted that there was no possibility of tampering the evidence at all, as the materials were with the investigating agency.
The High Court earlier passed an order restraining Delhi Police from releasing information related to her case to the media. This order was by Justice Vibhu Bakhru in a writ petition filed by her challenging a press note circulated by Delhi Police containing allegations against her. As Kalita was registered under FIR, she will remain in jail. Although she was granted bail in June over another FIR registered for her participation in anti-CAA protests in Daryaganj in Delhi in December 2019, after observing that she was not a habitual offender.
Kalita founded Pinjra Tod in 2015 along with her friend Natasha Narwal which started as a movement against curfews in girls hostels and gradually emerged as a collective taking up causes related to women’s emancipation.