INDIA: In a recent development, the Delhi High Court rejected the bail plea of former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader and activist Umar Khalid. He was the prime accused in the Northeast Delhi riots of 2020.
He was booked under the stringent anti-terror law, UAPA, for provoking and manipulating larger groups of students. The protests against CAA and NRC had sparked the violence.
The former JNU activist had challenged the trial court’s order of March 24, 2020, denying him bail in the case.
Meanwhile, a special division bench of justices Sidharth Mridul and Rajanish Bhatnagar while pronouncing the order said, “We do not find any merit in the bail appeal. The bail appeal is dismissed.”
According to Delhi Police, Khalid’s speeches are manoeuvred and he intentionally brought up controversial topics like Babri Masjid, triple talaq, Kashmir, the alleged suppression of Muslims, and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The special court judges said, “Having carefully gone through the charge sheet and taking into consideration the fact that the appellant was in constant touch with other co-accused persons, including Sharjeel Imam, who arguably is at the head of the conspiracy, at this stage, it is difficult to form an opinion that there are no reasonable grounds for believing that the accusation against the petitioner is prima facie not proved.”
Many innocent minds have been called forth to violence. As per the police officials, the riots have broken violence into two phases: the first in 2019 and the second in February 2020.
During that course, they blocked roads, attacked police personnel and paramilitary forces, and broke violence into non-Muslim areas, particularly targeting Hindu religious areas.
As of a rough estimate, Khalid, along with his close aides, has desperately left 53 people dead and over 700 injured.
Besides Umar Khalid, activist Khalid Saifi, former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, the Jamia University Coordination Committee member Safoora Zargar, and various others were also booked for the felonious crime.