Devangana Kalita

New Delhi: For the third time in 10 days, Devangana Kalita, an MPhil student at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), has been arrested and this time by the crime branch of the Delhi Police. The police sent Kalita to three days’ police custody.

Terming the arrest as “arbitrary”, leading human rights organisation of international repute, International Federation for Human Rights (IFHR), has expressed concern over the detention of several Indian human rights activists in India, including Kalita.

On charges of supporting the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) at Jaffrabad, she along with a fellow JNU student, Natasha Narwal, were arrested on May 23 and later, released on bail.

After the bail was granted, the Delhi Police moved the court again and on May 28, arrested them in a separate case related to the violence that broke out in Delhi. They were charged with attempt to murder, rioting and criminal conspiracy. Narwal has also been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

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Meanwhile, the IFHR has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah condemning the arrest.

Highlighting the cases of Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, the IFHR’s letter to PM Modi said, “The observatory firmly condemns the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Ms. Devangana Kalita and Ms. Natasha Narwal, as they seem to be only aimed at punishing them for their legitimate human rights activities. Their detention takes place after the arrest of other human rights defenders earlier this year for protesting against the CAA.”

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