The Delhi Police on Sunday filed a 200-page supplementary chargesheet before a local court against Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam and Faizan Khan in the case related to violence in parts of the national Capital, reported Bar and Bench. The case pertains to the alleged larger conspiracy that caused the violence in North East Delhi in February.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat accepted the chargesheet, filed under several sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Arms Act, and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. Khalid and Imam have been in judicial custody while Khan was granted bail in the case in October.
The 200-page chargesheet alleged that Khalid had “remotely controlled” the riots that had killed 53 people. The former Jawaharlal Nehru University student allegedly orchestrated the violence during the visit of United States President Donald Trump’s visit. The aim of the protests was to attract international attention and put pressure on the “anti-minority” Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the chargesheet said, according to The Times of India.
The Delhi government on October 28 gave its approval to prosecute Khalid and Imam, after which the 200-page chargesheet was filed. The police may file a third chargesheet in the case within a month against the three other accused.
The police report claimed that Khalid fostered “nationwide alliances with like-minded people” after the new citizenship law was approved by the Cabinet. He allegedly mentored a group called Muslim Students of JNU with Imam’s help, the police said in the chargesheet, The Times of India reported.
“Khalid used MSJ to foment the violence in South East district in December 2019, which led to the Shaheen Bagh protests,” the police added. “He then coalesced a coalition of the current government haters that led to the formation of Delhi Protest Support Group on WhatsApp.”
The police added that Khalid had identified Chand Bagh and Jafrabad as the main spots from where the riots “would be precipitated”, according to the newspaper. The Delhi Police’s Special Cell claimed to have evidence of a meeting of Khalid’s aides where it is alleged that he outlined the violence.
In September, 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. All the 15 have been accused under sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Indian Penal Code and Arms Act. This 17,000-page chargesheet, filed at Karkardooma court, does not have Khalid and Imam’s names as accused in the Delhi riots case.
Delhi violence and the investigation
Khalid was arrested under the UAPA in September in the conspiracy case. 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 was 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.
Faizan Khan was arrested on July 29, and there are allegations of him being a part of the conspiracy that caused the riots. He had allegedly supplied and activated a SIM card that was registered fraudulently in the name of Abdul Jabbar, reported Hindustan Times. The SIM was, however, used by another accused in the Delhi violence case, Safoora Zargar.
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.