Delhi Riots began back in December 2019 when the Citizen Amendment Bill was passed which allowed the immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan to acquire Indian Citizenship. People belonging to and following only theses following religions namely Hinduism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Jainism and Christianity from the countries mentioned above were allowed to acquire Indian citizenship. In a secular country like India, Muslims being excluded from acquiring the Indian citizenship was seen as a discriminatory act against the Muslims living in the country and threatened their existence in the country. Protests regarding the same were held in New Delhi where the Anti CAA and Pro- CAA protesters clashed, gutted down public vehicles, used stones on the security forces deployed to maintain a peaceful protest. Protestors having violent clashes with the police forces and many such incidents were reported for 5 days North East part of Delhi due to which these protests were no more peaceful in nature instead turned out to be aggressive riots which caused loss of human life and severe damage to the property.
FACTUAL MATRIX OF THE CASE:
- The rioting began on February 23rd, in retaliation against the CAA protests. A sit-in protest outside the Jaffrabad metro station drew approximately 1,000 people the day before the violence erupted. The demonstration, which shut down a section of the road, was said to be in support of the Bhim Army's request for a Bharat Bandh on the above-mentioned date.
- The rioting in New Delhi's Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur, etc. districts killed 53 lives and wounded nearly 200. S tructures were destroyed as exasperated protesters set fire to homes, stores in a huge number, motor vehicles, a petrol station, and threw stones at residents and police officers.
- Riots were on even on the visit of the US President Donald Trumph to India.
- More than 600 cases were recorded in the wake of the riots by the Delhi police with over 2000 thousand persons taken into custody or imprisoned many of which were held under the Arms Act .
- In the aftermath of the disturbances several individuals were booked, including students. JNU students include Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, students of Jamia, Meeran Haider and Sargar and Umar Khalid, student leader of Jawaharlal Nehru University. All these students were charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
- The police has been criticized by all for their handling of the investigation, accusing them of conducting a "witchhunt" at a time when the country is grappling with the deadliest pandemic. Others, on the other hand, have addressed this critique by claiming that the police allegations may be "influenced."
- There were also political implications. Some have accused BJP officials like Kapil Mishra of making provocative comments targeting anti-CAA protestors before the protestors became violent on February 23 in Northeast Delhi.
- In the midst of the chaos, police arrested suspended Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain in the death of IB employee Ankit Sharma in northeast Delhi.
- Hussain, the Islamist organization PFI, and others were charged with financial fraud and suspected financing of communal disturbances in northeast Delhi by the Enforcement Directorate in March.
- Today that is 17 June, 2021 the Delhi High Court released on bail three activists namely Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, and Jamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha.
Analysis of the judgement dated 17-06-2021:
The High Court in the above case by releasing Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, and Jamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha criticized the police for casually invoking Anti- terror law against the students who were merely protesting against the CAA bill and was not involved in a terrorist activity. The court while giving the order of the bail laid great emphasis on the difference between the constitutionally guaranteed right to protest and terrorist activity and also ruled that no offence under the UAPA was made out against any of the above mentioned three students. As per the judgment of the court one can clearly make out that merely protesting against the CAA does not form a ground to be arrested under UAPA.