The Delhi Police on Friday charged Pinjra Tod activist Natasha Narwal under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for her alleged role in inciting the large-scale communal violence in Delhi in February, PTI reported.
The amended UAPA allows the government to proscribe individuals as terrorists and empowers more officers of the National Investigation Agency to probe cases. A person charged under the Act can be jailed for up to seven years.
Narwal and fellow activist Devangana Kalita were sent to 14-day judicial custody on Thursday in another case related to the communal violence.
“We had enough evidence against Natasha Narwal in connection with a conspiracy case associated with the North East Delhi riots that is being investigated by the special cell,” an unidentified police official told the news agency. “We have formally arrested her with the permission from the court.”
The women’s rights collective is accused of organising the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act at Jafrabad metro station in New Delhi in February. A group of around 500 women had protested against the new amended law at the metro station.
Narwal and Kalita were first arrested on May 23. A day later, they were granted bail in the matter by a court in Delhi. Immediately after the court’s order, the Delhi Police moved an application to interrogate the two activists and arrested them in a separate case related to the violence. They were charged with attempt to murder, rioting and criminal conspiracy.
Earlier this month, the Delhi Police had charged Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha under the stringent act in a case related to February’s communal clashes. In April, former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid and Jamia students Meeran Haider and Safoorr Zargar were charged under the UAPA.
Clashes had broken out between the supporters of the new citizenship law and those opposing it between February 23 and 26 in North East Delhi, killing 53 people and injuring hundreds. The police were accused of either inaction or complicity in some instances of violence, mostly in Muslim neighbourhoods. The violence was the worst Delhi saw since the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.