Former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid, arrested in a case related to the violence in North East Delhi, on Friday told a court in Delhi that he had not faced any problems in jail so far, apart from his liberties being curbed, reported The Indian Express. Khalid is in jail under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for his alleged role in the large-scale communal violence that broke out in the Capital in February.
“Except for the curbing of liberties and malicious investigation in the case, I have no other problems,” Khalid told the Karkardooma District Court.
The court was hearing a case on the judicial custody of Khalid and another JNU student Sharjeel Imam. Their custodies were due to expire on Friday. After the hearing, the district court extended their judicial custody till November 23.
During Friday’s hearing, the court was informed of an application for an extension in Khalid and Imam’s judicial custody for three days. Imam’s lawyer informed the judge about an application for the return of the student’s writings, which had been confiscated, reported Live Law.
On October 23, the court had instructed Tihar Jail authorities to allow Khalid to step out of his cell. The former JNU student had then informed the court that he was not being allowed to come out of his cell or talk to anyone, and claimed this was a kind of solitary confinement. The court had then summoned Tihar jail Superintendent Avadeshwar Kant, who denied that Khalid had been confined to his cell.
Khalid was arrested under the UAPA in September in a separate case related a larger conspiracy in the North East Delhi violence. A case of rioting was registered at the Khajuri Khas Police Station in which 15 people, including suspended Aam Aadmi Party Councillor Tahir Hussain, were arrested.
The Delhi Police arrested Sharjeel Imam under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act on August 25 for his alleged role in inciting the February violence.
Imam has already been booked for allegedly delivering inflammatory speeches against Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens in December last year and charged under the UAPA in April.
Clashes had broken out between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing it between February 23 and 26 in North East Delhi, killing 53 people and injuring hundreds. The police were accused of either inaction or complicity in some instances of violence, mostly in Muslim neighbourhoods.
The Delhi Police claim the violence was part of a larger conspiracy to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and was hatched by those who organised the protests against the amended Citizenship Act. They further claimed the protestors had secessionist motives and were using “the facade of civil disobedience” to destabilise the government. The police have arrested several activists and students based on these “conspiracy” charges.