Umar Khalid and Jamia students booked under UAPA for Delhi communal violence
The Delhi police has booked former JNU student Umar Khalid and two Jamia Milia Islamia students under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in a case related to communal violence over the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest. They have been also charged under the sedition law.
Delhi Police has booked former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) scholar Umar Khalid and two Jamia students - Meeran Haider and Safoora Zargar - under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). According to news agency PTI, the charges have been pressed against them in a case related to the communal violence that North East Delhi witnessed in February.
In the FIR, the police claimed that the communal violence was a "premeditated conspiracy" allegedly hatched by Khalid and two others.
Details of the FIR
The FIR filed by Delhi Police alleged that Khalid gave provocative speeches at two different places and appealed to the citizens to come out on streets and block the roads during the visit of US President Donald Trump. It further claimed that Khalid intended to spread propaganda at an international level about how minorities in India are being treated.
In this conspiracy, firearms, petrol bombs, acid bottles and stones were collected from numerous homes, the FIR said.
Haider and Zargar, arrested in February for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to incite the communal riots, are in judicial custody. The charges against them include sedition, murder, attempt to murder, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, and rioting.
While Zargar is the media coordinator of the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC), Haider is a member of the committee. The JCC was formed to coordinate the sit-in protests led by the Jamia Milia Islamia (JMI) students against the CAA passed by the Narendra Modi government.
Haider, 35, is a PhD student and the president of Rashtriya Janata Dal youth wing's Delhi unit, while Zargar is an M Phil student of JMI.
Advocate Akram Khan, who is representing Haider, told the PTI that the police has also booked JNU scholar Umar Khalid under the UAPA in the case.
Civil society has condemned the arrests
Over 20 film personalities, including Anurag Kashyap, Vishal Bhardwaj, Mahesh Bhatt and Ratna Pathak Shah, on Sunday released a statement raising their voice against the arrest of the students and activists by Delhi Police for protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and demanded their release.
Following this, the police said investigations into the JMI violence and northeast Delhi riot cases were done impartially, and arrests were made after analysis of forensic evidence.
Rajya Sabha MP and RJD leader Manoj Jha had tweeted, "Delhi Police called him for investigation and then received orders from above and arrested Meeran Haider, who has been helping people during the time of coronavirus outbreak."
"The country is facing a massive health crisis, however, the state machinery is busy harassing and framing student activists in false cases to suppress voices of dissent," the JCC said in a statement. The JCC said Haider was diligently working to provide ration to the needy during the lockdown.
Communal riots had engulfed North East Delhi after clashes between pro-CAA mob and anti-CAA protesters began on February 23. By the time Delhi Police and paramilitary forces were able to restore peace, the riots claimed at least 53 lives and around 200 were injured.
(Article Image Credit: Facebook/UmarKhalid)