The police have told the Delhi High Court that former JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, arrested in connection with the communal riots in north-east Delhi last year, were part of a larger conspiracy to threaten the unity, integrity and harmony of the country.
The Delhi police made the submissions while opposing the appeals filed by Ms. Narwal and Ms. Kalita challenging a trial court’s order dismissing their bail pleas in an Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case related to the riots.
The police stated that the two were well aware of the acts being carried out during the riots and that it would lead to consequences which could be disastrous. The police said the accused agreed to be part of WhatsApp groups and were presumably aware of the acts of every conspirator and hence equally liable.
Arrested last year
Both Ms. Narwal and Ms. Kalita were booked under the UAPA in a north-east Delhi riots case.
Ms. Narwal was arrested on May 23 along with Ms. Kalita in relation with an FIR registered on February 24 over the sit-in protest at Jafrabad Metro Station against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
The Crime Branch has lodged a separate FIR against both Ms. Narwal and Ms. Kalita in connection with the Delhi riots, with charges ranging from Section 147 (rioting), 353 (using criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 307 (attempt to murder), 302 (murder), among others. The FIR also named relevant sections of the Arms Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
On January 28, the trial court had dismissed their bail pleas saying the allegations against them were prima facie true and provisions of the anti-terror law have been rightly invoked in the present case.