Delhi

Charge against former JNU student leader Umar Khalid not yet clear

Umar Khalid. File   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

Former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader Umar Khalid’s name figures in the text of an FIR registered by the Delhi police, but it is not yet clear whether he has been charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The Delhi Police Special Cell unit investigating a “conspiracy” behind the communal violence which took place in northeast Delhi in February this year, had, however, charged Jamia Milia Islamia students Meeran Haider and Safoora Zargar under the stringent UAPA on Tuesday. Mr. Haider is also the Delhi State president of the Youth Rashtriya Janata Dal.

Advocate Akram Khan, who is representing Mr. Haider in the case, said that they withdrew his bail application on Monday after police informed the court that Mr. Haider has been charged under IPC Section 302 (murder).

‘Case under investigation’

A senior police officer said that Mr. Khalid’s name was in the text of the FIR but he was not an accused “yet” and had not been charged under the UAPA. The case was “under investigation”, he said.

Mr. Haider and Ms. Zargar, arrested for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to incite the communal riots in February, are in judicial custody. Ms. Zargar is an M.Phil student in the Jamia.

In the FIR, the police claimed that the communal violence was a “premeditated conspiracy” which was allegedly hatched by Mr. Khalid and two others.

The students have also been booked for the offences of sedition, murder, attempt to murder, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and rioting.

Former JNU student union leader Shehla Rasheed tweeted, “Yet another bogus case! It's shameful how the government of India is exploiting the lockdown (no protest) to target progressive activists, intellectuals, journalists. Stay strong.”

Jamia students have been at the forefront of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act-National Register of Citizens regime, leading to a brutal lathicharge by the police inside the library of the Central university in December 2019.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 2:11:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/charge-against-former-jnu-student-leader-umar-khalid-not-yet-clear/article31403509.ece

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