The Delhi Police on Monday sought student activist Umar Khalid’s 10-day custody as they produced him before the Karkardooma district court via video conferencing a day after arresting him under the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for his alleged role in the conspiracy behind the February riots in the national capital.
Special public prosecutor Amit Prasad told additional sessions judge Amitabh Rawat that Khalid has to be confronted with voluminous documentary evidence while seeking the custody.
The Delhi Police’s special cell is looking into a larger conspiracy case in addition to multiple cases filed in connection with the riots that left 53 people dead and close to 400 injured.
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Khalid was arrested after being questioned twice. He has also been named in other charge sheets. Khalid has denied the allegations, calling the inquiry a conspiracy.
Suspended Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain, Jamia student Meeran Haider, Jamia Coordination Committee’s Safoora Zargar, and Pinjra Tod activists Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita have also been arrested under UAPA on charges of allegedly planning and executing the north-east Delhi riots.
The riots were triggered in the run-up to the assembly elections in Delhi and right-wing groups have also faced accusations of fanning them.
Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav called Khalid a thinking idealist and added he is shocked that an anti-terror law has been used to arrest the activist who has always opposed violence and communalism in any form. “He is undoubtedly among the leaders that India deserves. @DelhiPolice can’t detain India’s future for long,” Yadav said in a tweet.
A charge sheet related to the riots filed last month has the statement of an accused attached to it claiming 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.
Also Read: Umar Khalid’s arrest: Activists, academicians, politicians express solidarity, call it a ‘witch-hunt’
The riots were triggered following clashes between supporters of the CAA and its opponents.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan said Khalid’s arrest after naming of Yechury, Yadav, and Apoorvanand, “leaves no doubt at all about the malafide nature” of investigation into Delhi riots. “It’s a conspiracy by the police to frame peaceful activists in the guise of Investigation,” he tweeted.
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