New Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday sent former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid to 10 days police custody in connection with a case related to the violence which broke out in Delhi’s northeast area in February this year.
Delhi Police’s Special Cell had arrested Khalid on Sunday night under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, after questioning him for over ten hours. He was produced before Additional Session Judge Amitabh Rawat of Karkardooma court via video-conferencing on Monday afternoon.
During the course of proceedings, Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad sought 10 days police custody to confront Khalid with huge technical data running into 11 lakh pages, “as well as other evidence collected during investigation of present case and also to examine at length about other suspects and various other aspects”.
According to the remand application, names of some more suspects have also cropped up during the investigation of riots and Khalid is required to be questioned at length about those suspects to obtain their exact particulars for further investigation.
“Since technical data and other material are substantial which needs to be confronted, it is necessary that 10 days police custody remand be granted,” the remand application said.
Advocate Trideep Pais, representing Khalid in the case, opposed the remand application and claimed that his client was not in Delhi during the riots.
Pais said that no reason has been mentioned in the remand application as to why such drawn-out police custody is required. “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?” he asked.
Khalid is accused of hatching a criminal conspiracy to cause communal unrest by inciting people protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens.
On March 6, an FIR was registered against Khalid and Danish based on information provided by an informer to Crime Branch Sub Inspector Arvind Kumar.
According to FIR number 59/2020, complainant Arvind Kumar said that riots are a premeditated conspiracy. “The conspiracy was hatched by Umar Khalid and two others associated with different organisations,” the FIR stated.
Khalid gave provocative speeches at two different places and appealed to people to block the roads during US President Donald Trump’s visit, to spread propaganda at the international level about how minorities in India are being persecuted, the FIR added.
Khalid and his associates brought women and children to the road at several places in a bid to hatch conspiracy to incite riots, the Sub-Inspector alleged, adding that firearms, petrol bombs, acid bottles, and stones were stored at homes in Kardampuri, Jafrabad, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Shiv Vihar and nearby areas as part of the conspiracy.
Explaining the conspiracy, the complainant said that co-accused Danish was given the responsibility of gathering people from different places to take part in the violence. “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,” it added.
Besides this, Khalid is also named in charge sheets filed in various cases of the riots. Communal violence broke out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after clashes between the citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control, leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.