Published: 14th September 2020
Former JNU student Umar Khalid is the latest to be arrested in connection to Delhi riots conspiracy
Associated with an organisation 'United Against Hate', Umar was charged under UAPA in April. In 2016, sedition charges were slapped on him
The special cell of the Delhi Police arrested former JNU researcher and activist Umar Khalid on Sunday under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, suspecting his involvement in instigating the Delhi riots in February. Associated with an organisation called 'United Against Hate', Umar was charged under UAPA in April.
Sources close to Umar, who are yet to see the FIR tell us that he was summoned on Saturday evening and was arrested on Sunday night, after hours of questioning. "We will get to know the exact sections under which he is charged, only after he is produced in front of the court," she says. The arrest is believed to be based on the account of a Crime Branch SI named Arvind Kumar. Kumar had previously reported that one of his informers had told him that the riots were a result of a pre-planned conspiracy hatched by Umar and his accomplices from different organisations.
He also alleged that Umar had delivered hate speeches in different places and appealed to people to obstruct public roads, in order to lead the international community to believe that minorities in India were being oppressed. Umar's lawyer Trideep Pais, at the same time, denied to comment on this matter.
Prior to Umar, Jamia students Meeran Haider and Safoora Zagar, Pinjra Tod activists Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, JNU student Sharjeel Imam and AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain were arrested under the UAPA by the Delhi Police, alleging their role in the Delhi riots. The six-days long Delhi riots, which began on February 23 saw the deaths of 51 people, which included 36 Muslims and 15 Hindus. More than 2200 people were arrested in connection with the riots, which were believed to have broken out after the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act. The Delhi Police had recently also fied charges against the CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Swaraj campaign leader Yogendra Yadav and economist and Delhi University professor Jayanti Ghosh in this case.
In 2016, sedition charges were slapped on Umar, who was then a JNU student, along with the then JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar and others. In 2018, a gunman opened fire at him outside Constitution Club in Delhi.