June 17, 2021
Defiant student-activists say ‘the struggle will go on… we are not scared of them’
Ahmed Kasim | Clarion India
NEW DELHI —Aasif Iqbal Tanha, Natasha Narwal and Daevangna Kalita came out of Tihar jail on Wednesday evening after a court cleared their release following bail granted by the High Court in Delhi riots conspiracy case.
As the anti-CAA activists walked out of the jail premises they were greeted by slogans from supporters reverberating all around. A battery of reporters and camera persons lined up outside the jail premises to get interviews of the trio who carried placards demanding release of other political prisoners and scrap of the UAPA or the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
“It shows the desperation of the government… We are women who are not scared of them,” Kalita told reporters. “We survived because we received tremendous support from friends, from well-wishers. I thank them all.”
Tanha said the struggle that he and his friends started inside Jamia Millia Islamia against CAA-NRC will go on. Recalling his initial days of incarceration, he said: “On the first day of my arrest I was beaten up so badly that I could not sit or stand properly. But I refused to accept their (police) demands. After one week of PC (police custody) I was taken to jail. Once inside, I got a chance to reflect: what it means to fight for the rights and justice and analyse what went right and what went wrong in the anti-CAA-NRC-NPR protests struggle and think about what to do now.”
Narwal refused to comment on the case saying the case was still sub-judice. However, she thanked Delhi High Court for upholding justice. “Our protest was not a terror act but a democratic exercise led by women,” she said, adding that the threat of jail will further strengthen their resolve to fight.
The Pinjra Thod activist lost her father to Covid-19 recently. The court had allowed her to go home for a week to join her grieving family. She returned to jail on May 31 and two weeks later the Delhi High Court granted her bail along with Kalita and Tanha.
But even after the High Court order, Delhi Police sought to delay their release on the pretext that they needed more time to verify their addresses. On Wednesday, the Delhi Court rejected the police’s argument and directed their immediate release from the Tihar Jail.
Courtesy: Clarion India