India today 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, tweeted yesterday, “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,” she tweeted.
Asked about the UN rapporteur’s observation 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.”
Ms Narwal, Ms Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha walked out of Tihar prison today, hours after a court here ordered their immediate release in the north-east Delhi riots “conspiracy” case.
The order came two days after the Delhi High Court granted bail to the three, who were arrested in May last year under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
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