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India hits out at UN expert’s remarks on jail of activists

Narwal, Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha walked out of Tihar prison on Thursday evening, hours after a Delhi court ordered their immediate release in the Delhi riots “conspiracy” case.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: June 18, 2021 7:23:07 am
Student activists Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal and Asif Iqbal Tanha.

India on Thursday reacted sharply to a UN special rapporteur expressing concern over the incarceration of student activists Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, saying it expects such experts to respect and have a more informed understanding of its legal proceedings.

Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, on Wednesday tweeted, “I’m hearing disturbing reports that WHRDs Natasha Narwal and Devangna Kalita have not been released after @DelhiPolice challenged yesterday’s Delhi High Court decision to grant them bail. I find their incarceration following #antiCAA protests in #India deeply concerning.”

Asked about Lawlor’s observations at an online briefing, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said he does not have an immediate response to it.

However, he added, “I understand that this refers to an ongoing judicial process and we would expect UN special rapporteurs to respect and have a more informed understanding of our legal proceedings.”

Narwal, Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha walked out of Tihar prison on Thursday evening, hours after a Delhi court ordered their immediate release in the Delhi riots “conspiracy” case.

The three student activists were arrested in May 2020 and are accused of being the “masterminds” of the February 2020 violence, which left 53 people dead and more than 200 injured.

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