image copyrightPinjra Todimage captionNatasha Narwal is one of the founding members of the Pinjra Tod movement in India

Two prominent female activists have left an Indian jail 48 hours after a court ordered their release on bail.

Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita had been kept in as police wanted time to verify their addresses. The judge in Delhi said this was "not plausible".

The students had joined a protest last year against a controversial citizenship law, a day before deadly riots broke out in Delhi.

They were arrested in May 2020 under a stringent anti-terrorism law.

"We have received tremendous support inside jail and we will continue our struggle," Ms Narwal told reporters outside Tihar jail.

She and Ms Kalita are founding members of Pinjra Tod (Break the Cage), a popular student movement that wants women to reclaim public spaces. Granting bail on Tuesday, the judges had criticised the government for confusing the right to protest with terrorist activity.

image copyrightPinjra Todimage captionDevangana Kalita was arrested last year on charges of sedition

A third activist, Asif Iqbal Tanha, also walked free on Thursday. He too was arrested in May last year for taking part in protests before the rioting, and spent two more days in jail despite having been bailed on Tuesday.

Lawyers for the three have accused the police of using delaying tactics to keep them in jail – and on Thursday, judge Ravinder Bedi ordered them to be immediately released.

The Delhi police appeal against their bail will be heard by the Supreme Court on Friday.

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The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) sparked massive protests across India. Critics say it discriminates against Muslims, a charge the government denies. One of the protests in Delhi sparked a political rally in favour of the law the following day.

Later that day, minor clashes were reported between Hindus and Muslims. But the situation escalated and soon turned into deadly riots that killed 53 people, mostly Muslims.

media captionDelhi religious riots: 'Mobs set fire to my house and shop'