Delhi riots: FIR names former JNU student

Umar Khalid not charged under UAPA yet: police officer

April 22, 2020 11:22 pm | Updated 11:22 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Umar Khalid

Umar Khalid

Former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader Umar Khalid’s name appears in an FIR registered by the police on March 6 over his alleged involvement in the north-east Delhi riots.

Mr. Khalid on Wednesday said he has not been contacted by the Delhi police yet. It is not yet clear whether he has been charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

‘Conspiracy’ probe

On Tuesday, the Delhi Police Special Cell unit investigating a “conspiracy” behind the communal violence in February charged Jamia Millia Islamia students Meeran Haider and Safoora Zargar under the stringent UAPA. Mr. Haider is also the Delhi unit president of the Rashtriya Janata Dal youth wing .

On March 6, on a complaint of a Delhi policeman, an FIR under IPC sections of rioting was registered and the former JNU student and Danish, a resident of Bhajanpura, were named. The FIR was registered at the Crime Branch and transferred to the Special Cell for further investigation.

The FIR reads that the riots took place in Delhi on February 23, 24 and 25 and were a part of a conspiracy. The plan to organise the riots was hatched by Mr. Khalid and his friends, it reads. In the FIR, it is mentioned that Mr. Khalid made hate speeches and disseminated propaganda in two places to destabilise the visit of U.S. President Donald Trump to Delhi, scheduled on February 25 and 26.

As per the FIR, Danish was assigned the task to arrange a mob from outside Delhi. As per their plan, women and children were mobilised to block the road at Jaffarabad metro station that would inconvenience the people living in the vicinity, leading to riots.

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

A senior police officer said that Mr. Khalid’s name is in the text of the FIR but he is not an accused “yet” and has not been charged under the UAPA.

The case is “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 Jamia.

In the FIR, the police claimed that the communal violence was a “premeditated conspiracy”. 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.”

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