Two Women Students of JNU Arrested over Anti-CAA Protest in Northeast Delhi
NEW DELHI, MAY 24— Two women students of Jawaharlal Nehru University were arrested by the Delhi Police here on Saturday for their alleged role in a protest held against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Jafarabad area of Delhi in February this year. Jafarabad and adjoining areas had witnessed violence in the last week of February, killing around 50 people.
The two JNU students and activists of Pinjda Tod group who have been arrested are Devangana Kalita (30) and Natasha Narwal (32).
“An FIR regarding the Jafrabad sit-in protest had been registered earlier. The women have been arrested under IPC sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty),” an unnamed officer was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
In the last one month, the city police have arrested half a dozen students of Jamia Millia Islamia in connection with the northeast Delhi violence. These students were in the forefront of the anti-CAA protest outside the main gate of Jamia Millia from mid-December to the last week of March when the nationwide lockdown was imposed in order to contain the spread of Coronavirus. The arrested Jamia students include Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider and Asif Tanha.
Protests against CAA had been held in different parts of Delhi, and the country, between December-March. Soon after the Jafarabad protest, BJP leader Kapil Mishra had taken out a counter protest march in support of the citizenship law near Jafarabad on February 23. In his viral controversial speech, he had even warned the Delhi Police to clear the roads of the anti-CAA protests. From next day, clashes started in the area and they continued for three days. Around 50 people were killed in the violence and over two hundred wounded. Hundreds of homes, shops and vehicles were torched by the rioters.
Commenting on the arrest of JNU students, JNU research scholar and councillor Fatima Khan tweeted: “JNU Students Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal have been arrested by Delhi Police this evening from their residence. Highly condemnable!”
Commenting on the arrests, young poet and activist Nabiya Khan tweeted: “India is turning this lockdown into lockdown of rights by throwing its students and activists into jails. Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, activists from Pinjra Tod, Faraz Usmani from Allahabad are the latest in the line of numerous activists unlawfully jailed. This is also an attempt by the state to shield real perpetrators of the Delhi Pogrom. World is watching you.”
Last week, JNU Students Union had denounced the recent spate of arrest of students and activists.
“The actions of the Delhi Police in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown to target activists who were dissenting against the CAA-NPR-NRC project of the RSS-BJP regime has cemented the fact that rather than the principles of justice, it is guided by narrow and communal agendas directed by the BJP Government at the centre,” JNU students body had said in a statement on May 18.
It had also demanded action against BJP leaders Kapil Mishra and others for their provocative remarks.
“Leaders of the BJP such as Kapil Mishra who called for violence in the presence of senior officers of the Delhi Police and Anurag Thakur – the Union MoS for Finance and Corporate Affairs who during election rallies in Delhi chanted “goli maro salon ko” continue to spread communal venom and hatred. At such a juncture, wherein the law and order machinery offers complete impunity to hatemongers and the actual instigator of violence, it is imperative that the student community and the larger civil society in general lend its unstinted and resolute support to all those are being targeted as such by this regime,” JNUSU said.