Narratives created by Umar Khalid cannot be looked into as defence for bail plea, says Delhi police
The police made the argument while replying to the activist’s bail petition in a case related to North East Delhi riots in 2020.
Police on Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that “narratives sought to be created” by activist Umar Khalid’s counsel in defence of his bail petition cannot be looked into at this stage of hearing of the plea, Live Law reported.
The police made the submission in a reply opposing Khalid’s bail plea in a case related to the North East Delhi riots of 2020.
Khalid was arrested on September 14, 2020, after clashes broke out between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing the law in North East Delhi between February 23 and February 26 of that year. The violence claimed 53 lives and hundreds were injured. The majority of those killed were Muslims.
Khalid has been accused of making provocative speeches at two sites of anti-CAA protests and hatching a conspiracy to incite the riots. He has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the sedition law and several other provisions of the Indian Penal Code.
On March 24, a sessions court in Delhi had rejected his bail plea. Khalid has challenged the order in the Delhi High Court. On April 22, the High Court had said that one of Khalid’s speeches for which he has been booked, was “obnoxious and unacceptable”.
The court had asked the police to submit its response on the bail plea.
In its reply submitted on Tuesday, the Delhi Police also argued that Khalid’s alleged role in the riots cannot be seen in isolation. The police pointed out that co-accused in the case, Shifa-ur-Rehman and Khalid Saifi, have also been denied bail by the sessions court.
“The length and breadth of the conspiracy, different entities involved in it, WhatsApp groups and individuals in pursuance to the matter behind the riots will be clearly demonstrated by the trial court orders rejected bail to the other co-accused in the case,” the Delhi Police submitted.
Invoking the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, India’s draconian anti-terror law, it arrested 21 people in 2020, many of whom were students, including Meeran Haider and Safoora Zargar. But unlike the others who remain in jail, Zargar was granted bail in June 2020 on humanitarian grounds because she was pregnant.
The police also sought the court’s permission to rely on underlying material from the charge sheet to oppose the bail petition.
Earlier, on April 22, the High Court had held that the former JNU student activist’s speech at Amravati in February 2020 which led to a case against him for allegedly being a “mastermind” of Delhi riots, was “obnoxious and unacceptable”.