NEW DELHI — Two Pinjra Tod women activists, who were granted bail on Sunday in a case related to the northeast Delhi communal violence, were sent to two days of police custody moments later in a separate murder case linked to the riots.
When Metropolitan Magistrate Ajeet Narayan granted bail to Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita in a rioting case, a Delhi Police crime branch investigating officer moved an application for their interrogation and arrest in a separate case of alleged murder of a local during the riots.
The two members of Pinjra Tod, a collective of women students and alumni of colleges across Delhi, were arrested on Saturday in connection with a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Jaffrabad area in February.
The judge granted them relief in the rioting case on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 20,000.
“Facts of the case reveal that the accused were merely protesting against the NRC and CAA, and the accused did not indulge into any violence,” the court said. “Also, the accused have strong roots in the society and they are well educated. Accused are ready to cooperate with the police regarding the investigation.”
Considering the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the court was not inclined to give police remand of the accused and declined the application seeking custody.
It said both the accused shall cooperate and join the further investigation as and when required by the investigating officer.
“They shall not commit an offence similar to the offence which he has committed. The accused shall not make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquaintance with the facts of the case,” it said.
During the hearing, the police had sought two days of custody of the accused, saying it was necessary for interrogation as they are “active in anti-national activities” and also for arrest of co-accused in the rioting case.
The counsel for the accused opposed the application, saying police had pressed charges with mala fide intent and are...