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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Hope, despair, hope: Natasha Narwal’s brother details 50 hours between bail news, her release

"That day a lot of confusion was there in my mind. Pessimism had taken root. I couldn’t sleep properly", said Aakash Narwal.

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh |
Updated: June 18, 2021 2:19:37 pm
Aakash Narwal, Natasha NarwalAakash Narwal with his sister Natasha.

It was an anxious 50-hour wait for activist Natasha Narwal’s younger brother, Aakash Narwal, after news of her bail was first flashed on June 15. Recalling the tense hours he spent between her bail and release order, Aakash (27) said: “It was a matter of satisfaction when news of her bail was flashed by the news channels in the morning of June 15. ’Finally, something has happened’, I had thought that day. Though, there were apprehensions too about how the things will move further. We were hopeful that the release order would come the next day, but never thought that it would be delayed for so long.”

He added, “That day a lot of confusion was there in my mind. Pessimism had taken root. I couldn’t sleep properly. It doesn’t matter when there are no flowers in your plants. But once a flower blooms and it is broken, then it’s painful. Same was happening with us. But I was confident that Natasha would still be confident and would understand all these things. When she called from jail the next day, she was talking confidently.”

Aakash, who lives in Rohtak — barely 60 km from Delhi, is currently pursuing a course in film animation from Kolkata’s Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI). He was left alone at home after the death of his father Mahavir Narwal in May this year and Natasha too had returned to Tihar Jail, where she was in judicial custody.

A retired scientist, Mahavir Narwal, had succumbed to Covid-19, while his wife had died 20 years back.

Aakash said, “My father’s death was very traumatic for me. I had virtually stopped talking to people. When Natasha entered the home after interim bail was granted to attend the last rites of our father, she suffered a breakdown. As I was Covid positive at that time, I could hardly speak to her and she returned to jail again without much interaction between us.”

As relatives kept coming to console Aakash, he decided to stand by Natasha like their father did after her arrest by the Delhi Police in May 2020 under UAPA charges in connection with the Delhi riots.

A group of social activists from Haryana had launched a signature campaign too to express solidarity with her.

Natasha is an activist of ‘Pinjra Tod’, a collective of women students and alumni of colleges across Delhi formed to seek less restrictive regulations for women in hostels and PG accommodations.

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