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Delhi HC asks JNU to Respond to Narwal’s Plea for Permission to Provisionally Register for PhD Third Semester

Narwal, who is currently lodged in Tihar Jail since last year, was named as an accused by the Delhi Police in three FIRs registered in connection with the protest against CAA/NRC.
JNU Natasha NArwal

New Delhi, March 16: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) reply on a plea by its student and Pinjra Tod activist Natasha Narwal – accused in cases related to last year’s North-East Delhi Riots – seeking permission to provisionally register in the third semester of the PhD programme.

Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice to JNU on the plea.

In her plea, Narwal has also sought direction to the varsity to provide login ID and credentials for completing the provisional registration process.

She has also sought direction to facilitate access to her PhD supervisors through video conferencing for the purpose of completion/participation in her PhD course.

In her plea filed through advocates Adit Pujari and Kunal Negi, Narwal has sought permission to access monetary scholarship/fellowship as is her entitlement as a PhD student of the university.

Narwal, who is currently lodged in Tihar Jail since last year, was named as an accused by the Delhi Police in three FIRs registered in connection with the protest during the violence in north-east Delhi in 2020.

She was arrested on May 23 last year in connection with a case related to anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests in Jafrabad of north-east Delhi but was granted bail thereafter.

However, soon after getting bail, she was re-arrested by police on May 24, 2020 in another case and is in judicial custody.

She was also arrested in a third case related to her role in north-east Delhi violence matter.

Newsclick had spoken to her father, Mahavir Narwal, in September last year. He had said that Natasha was happy despite being in jail and was teaching children and doing yoga.

Communal clashes had broken out in north-east Delhi on February 24, 2020 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

While 755 FIRs were registered in the communal riots, victims continue to struggle for compensation and legal support.

The cases, and the role of the Delhi Police, have also come into question. Earlier this month, while discharging two accused from the offence of attempt to murder in a riots case, the court asked how a case of attempt to murder can be made out against them when the victim himself was absent from the police investigation and has never been seen by the police.

On March 10, a Delhi court stayed the operation of search warrants issued against advocate Mehmood Pracha, who is representing some of the accused in the cases related to the riots. On December 24, 2020, Pracha’s office was raided during the course of an investigation of allegations that he had “tutored” some victims and witnesses in the riots case to give “false statements”.

With PTI inputs

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