Image used for representational purpose only
NEW DELHI: Two women activists from Pinjra Tod have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the anti-CAA protests and subsequent violence that erupted in northeast Delhi in February.
Natasha Narwal and Devangna Kalita along with their associates, including Jamia students Safoora Zargar and Meeran Haider, had allegedly led a group comprising scores of women to protest at the Jafrabad metro station. They had then blocked the Maujpur Road from February 21 onwards, said police.
“As pressure mounted to vacate Shaheen Bagh, these accused and their associates planned to create a parallel gathering to coincide with the visit of the US president,” added police.
Police sources told TOI that Narwal and Kalita were arrested from a south Delhi area by the northeast district police after their roles were established during the interrogation of other members of the group .
Recently, RJD leader and Jamia student Meeran Haider and activists Safoora Zargar, Gulfisha, Asif Tanha and Safiur Rehman were arrested too which was opposed by many people.
The activists of Pinjra Tod were under the scanner for a month after police found their role in the events preceding the riots.
Police claim that the two accused women along with others had also incited a mob to launch an attack when the riots broke out. They were captured in a mobile footage .
Narwal, who had pursued an MA in Philosophy from Delhi University, is now working full-time with the activist group. Police said that she had led the women’s march at Jafrabad in the morning of February 23, when the initial violence took place. She had then allegedly called several others to join the protest, they claimed.
Kalita, also a former DU student, works with an NGO and joins the group during the protests.
The two women and their associates are suspected to have mobilised at least 50-60 people who were later involved in the riots, said sources. Police have seized the mobile phone of both the activists and are scanning through their social media accounts to establish whether they were in touch with the miscreants who had later joined the arson.
Police have identified a few more of their associates who will be soon questioned regarding their role in the riots.
“Police did not give reasons to their family members for their arrest. Many students and activists have been arrested by Delhi Police in the last couple of months. We strongly condemn the witchhunt of activists and students being carried out by the state,” said a statement from Pinjra Tod.