‘Anti-CAA protest sites were chosen near mosques’

Umar Khalid speaking during a protest against CAA-NRC at Jantar Mantar.  File photo

Umar Khalid speaking during a protest against CAA-NRC at Jantar Mantar. File photo

Opposing former JNU student Umar Khalid’s bail plea in the north-east Delhi riots “larger conspiracy” case, the prosecution on Monday said that all the 25 anti-CAA protest sites were intentionally given “secular names” but were chosen in close proximity to mosques.

The argument was made by Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat on Monday during the hearing of a bail application moved by Khalid, through advocate Trideep Pais.

Giving examples of protest sites “chosen close to local mosques”, the prosecution submitted: “Shreeram colony protest site was actually Noorani Masjid protest, Sadar Bazar protest site was Shahi Idgaah... Gandhi Park protest site was actually Jamila Masjid.”

The prosecution argued that several “hidden elements” were behind such protests, including PFI (Popular Front of India) and Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO). “They wanted to create ground work for 24x7 sit-in protests... they spread misinformation and instigated the Muslim community to join the protests, including women and children,” SPP Prasad argued.

Instigation charge

He also submitted that the Jamia Awareness Campaign Team (JACT) was formed to “spread misinformation” and “instigate Muslims against CAA, NRC and induce women and children to join the protests”.

SPP Prasad also told the court that there is a public perception that Khalid is an atheist as he studied in JNU “which vouches for being secular”. “...Why did you join a Muslim group? You portray yourself as something else for public knowledge,” SPP Prasad argued while referring to the group “Muslim Students of JNU”.

The prosecution will continue its arguments in the next hearing on January 28.

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Printable version | May 25, 2022 2:56:41 pm |