The Karkardooma Court (Delhi) dismissed the bail applications moved by Pinjra Tod Activist Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal. The Court observed that the provisions of UAPA have been rightly invoked against them in connection with the Delhi Riots case.
Role of Natasha Narwal as seen by court
The Court said that Narwal played an active role in the riots through road blocks and causing disruptive chakkajam, provocative speeches, instigation of women for stock piling sticks, bottles, acid, stones, chillypowder for the purpose of Delhi riots.
The Court also observed that she was part of a multilayered conspiracy and in regular touch and reporting to the higher conspirator of Delhi Protest Support Group.
The Court observed,
“On 22nd February 2020, Natasha with other accused mobilized the women of Seelampur Protest site and occupied the Jafrabad Metro Station blocking the Main 66 Foota Road. She distributed chilly powder to the women and instigated them to attack police personnel and start riots. Protesters from the other protest sites at Chand Bagh, Kardampuri and other protest sites of NorthEast District moved to the nearby main roads and blocked them and causing a massive chakkajam leading to the shut down of the highway and shut down of essential services followed by attack on police and public persons using firearms, acid bottles and other weapons.”
The Court also observed that 24th February 2020 onwards there was a flurry of calls between accused and other persons who were not physically present with each other but which shows connection between them and many of them coming together at a place pointing to circumstances suggesting conspiracy.
The Court noted that the provisions of UAPA have been rightly invoked in the instant delhi riots case.
Role of Devangana Kalita as seen by court
The Court noted, “The accused (Kalita) played an active role in the riots by road blocks and disruptive chakkajam, provocative speeches, instigation of women for stock piling sticks, bottles, acid, stones, chillypowder for the purpose of riots.”
The Court also observed that the accused Devangana Kalita, alongwith Natasha, Gulfisha and others of Pinjra Tod Group, in furtherance of their conspiracy, established a 24 x 7 sitting protest at 66 Foota Road, Seelampur Delhi on 15th Jan 2020.
Noting that she was part of a multilayered conspiracy and in regular touch and reporting to the higher conspirator of Delhi Protest Support Group, the Court observed in delhi riots case,
“Devangana Kalita with other accused mobilized the women of Seelampur Protest site and occupied the Jafrabad Metro Station blocking the Main 66 Foota Road. She distributed chilly powder to the women and instigated them to attack police personnel and start riots“
The Court also noted that as per the statement of protected witnesses under Section 164 Cr.P.C are taken into account, there is sufficient incriminating material against Kalita.
Observations of court
The Court underlined that all the citizens of the country under the Constitution of India have the right and freedom to protest including the right to oppose any legislation; however, it is not an absolute right but subject to reasonable restrictions.
Further, the Court went ahead with the inquiry as to whether there was a conspiracy which led to delhi riots under the guise of protest against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) or not, in terms of the contents of the charge sheet and the accompanying documents.
The Court, in its order noted that as per the investigation, there was a premeditated conspiracy of the disruptive chakkajam and a pre-planned protest at different planned sites in Delhi resulting in Delhi riots killing scores of people, injuring hundreds and causing destruction to the property.
The Court also took into account that the entire conspiracy began from December 2019 of intentionally blocking roads to cause inconvenience and causing disrupting of the supplies of services, essential to the life of community of India resulting in violence with various means and then leading to February incident o fdelhi riots.
Importantly, the Court observed that targeted blocking of roads at mixed population areas and creating panic and attack on police personnel with facade of women protesters in front and leading to riots would be covered definition of terrorist act (as defined under Section 15 of UAPA.)
The Court further noted,
“Acts, which threaten the unity and integrity of India, in as much as causing social disharmony and creating terror in any section of the people, by making them feel surrounded resulting in violence, is also a terrorist act. It is also relevant to mention here that even taking the arguments of the counsel for accused at face value that only one side of the road was blocked, it would still be a complete blockage preventing ingress and egress for the people who are surrounded and for whom panic and terror is created.
Hence, the application for bail of accused Natasha Narwal was dismissed yesterday and bail application of Devangana Kalita was dismissed today in delhi riots case.