Former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student, Umar Khalid who was arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell for his alleged role in North-east Delhi riots, has been sent to ten days police custody on Tuesday “considering the nature of the case”.
Umar Khalid was produced before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat of Karkardooma court yesterday afternoon through video conferencing. He was arrested on Sunday night by Delhi Police under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) after ten hours of questioning.
The Additional Sessions Judge who gave custody of Umar, said: “Considering the nature of the case and role of the accused Umar Khalid that has surfaced so far regarding the conspiracy and involvement in anti-CAA/NPR/NRC protest…I deem it fit that, for having an effective and proper investigation, to allow the present application for seeking police custody remand of the accused Umar Khalid for a period of ten days.”
The court has also directed the investigating officers to get Umar medically examined every 24 hours.
Umar Khalid’s lawyers Trideep Pais, Sanya Kumar and Rakshanda Deka are to confer with him for a period not exceeding half an hour at the beginning of the police custody and thereafter, every day during the remand period.
Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, had sought his custody for 10 days saying that the police wanted to question him with data that ran into 11 lakh pages, “as well as other evidence collected during the investigation of the present case and also to examine at length about other suspects and various other aspects”.
The remand application further stated that during the questioning, Umar’s active involvement in anti CAA/NRC along with others, which resulted in the riots was ‘confirmed.’
Umar Khalid’s counsel, Advocate Pais opposed the custody saying that Umar ‘was not in Delhi’ during February 23-26, 2020, when the riots took place.
He contended the remand application and said, “Application has no base. Why has the police not mentioned which speech of Umar was problematic. What do they want for him in 10 days?”
Counsel appealed to the court to ensure the safety and security of Umar Khalid and further submitted request that certain items like tracksuits, t-shirt, etc. to also be given to the accused. The court granted the request and has directed Deputy Commissioner of Police to ensure the safety and security during the remand period.
Umar Khalid has been charged with hatching a conspiracy to cause communal violence by inciting people who were protesting against CAA and NRC. The FIR 59/2020 was registered against Umar Khalid and a person identified as Danish based on information provided by an informer to Crime Branch Sub-Inspector Arvind Kumar.
As per the FIR, the riots were ‘premeditated conspiracy’ which was allegedly hatched by Khalid and two others. According to FIR, Khalid has allegedly given provocative speeches at two different places and appealed to the citizens to come out on streets and block the roads during the visit of U.S. President Donald Trump to spread propaganda at the international level about how minorities in India are being tortured.
The FIR also stated that he and others who conspired with him to incite violence got women and children to roads in several places. The complainant Arvind Kumar added that as a part of this conspiracy, firearms, petrol bombs, acid bottles, and stones were stored at homes in Kardampuri, Jafrabad, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Shiv Vihar and nearby areas.
“On February 23, women and children were made to block the roads under the Jafrabad Metro Station to create tension amidst the neighbourhood people in a bid to give rise to riots,” the FIR added.
The North East Delhi riots was a communal clash that broke out between CAA/NRC supporters and protesters on February 24 left at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.