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Delhi Police seeks 10 days custody for Umar Khalid Umar Khalid | Delhi Riots
Image Credit: Umar Khalid Twitter Page

Delhi Police seeks 10 days custody for Umar Khalid

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 14 Sep 2020, 05:52 pm

Delhi/IBNS: The Delhi Police today produced former JNU student and activist Umar Khalid before the Karkardooma district court via video conferencing and sought his custody for 10 days, after arresting him under the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) late Sunday night in connection to a case of conspiracy behind the riots that ravaged north east Delhi for three days in February last.

According to an HT report, Special public prosecutor Amit Prasad told the additional sessions judge Amitabh Rawat while seeking Khalid’s custody that he had to be confronted with a huge number of documentary evidence.

The Delhi Police special cell, which made the arrest, said Khalid was arrested as it was investigating a “larger conspiracy angle” behind the bloody riots that continued from February 23 to 26, claiming 53 lives and leaving nearly 400 injured.

Khalid has denied the charges, calling the investigation a conspiracy.

On Saturday Umar Khalid was summoned by Delhi Police and he was asked to join the investigation on Sunday at the Special Cell office in Lodhi Colony, sources said.

Earlier on July 31, Khalid had been questioned by the Delhi Police when his phone was seized, sources added.

Umar Khalid arrived at the Special Cell office on Sunday around 1 pm and following a marathon interrogation, he was arrested under UAPA around 11 pm.

Earlier on March 6, an FIR was registered against Khalid for his alleged role in the Northeast Delhi violence.

“The fight against draconian CAA and UAPA will go on despite all these horrid measures of intimidation. Right now, our first priority is that #UmarKhalid should be given maximum security and the Delhi Police must ensure his safety by all means possible," United Against Hate, an activist group, whose member is Umar Khalid, said in a statement.

The special cell told a court last month that Khalid and the other accused -- former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain and activist Khalid Saifi -- had plotted a conspiracy to orchestrate the riots, ahead of the visit of US President Donald Trump in February, said the HT report.

The report said that the police have stated in at least four charge sheets that Khalid had met jailed and suspended Aam Aadmi Party’s councillor Hussain and Saifi on January 8 at the Shaheen Bagh sit-in protest site to allegedly hatch the conspiracy.

Meanwhile, Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav tweeted against Khalid’s arrest, calling him a “thinking idealist” who has always opposed violence and communalism in any form.

Apart from Tahir Hussain, Jamia student Meeran Haider, Jamia Coordination Committee’s media coordinator Safoora Zargar, and Pinjra Tod activists Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, have been earlier arrested under the Unlawful Activity Prevention Act (UAPA), said media reports.

Jawaharlal Nehru University students Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal and Jamia Millia Islamia University student Gulfisha Fathima have been also named accused in Delhi's Jaffrabad violence, which gradually engulfed the other parts of north-east Delhi in February.

The riots spread after clashes between the CAA protesters and its supporters.

Media reports said last month a charge sheet was filed in connection with the riots which has a statement by one of the accused claiming that Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury , Yadav, Delhi University professor Apoorvanand, former lawmaker Chaudhary Mateen and advocate Mahmood Pracha instigated anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protestors.

Lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan slamming Khalid’s arrest said Delhi Police’s investigation into the riots “leaves no doubt at all about the malafide nature”.

Condemning the arrest, Umar Khalid’s father, who is the national president of Welfare Party of India and a member of the Executive Committee of  All India Muslim Personal Law Board, said his son’s “implication in the Delhi riots is totally fabricated and a false narrative created by Delhi Police to misguide the nation and stifle dissent”.