Former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid plotted the conspiracy to cause unrest in Delhi while he was in Patna, where he was asked to speak at an anti-Citizenship Act protest, the Delhi Police has alleged in its chargesheet, reported PTI. The chargesheet also noted that being in Patna gave Khalid “a perfect alibi” in case the conspiracy was revealed.
“As has been detailed in the main chargesheet, Umar Khalid, being one of the topmost conspirators as established so far and with his previous brushes with law, was clear in his mind that when Delhi will be thrown to fire, he shall be keeping a safe physical distance to create the perfect alibi if the conspiracy gets exposed,” the police said. Khalid was invited to Patna as a “star speaker” at a protest in Nawada, Bihar, by a person identified as Tariq, the police have claimed.
The chargesheet, filed on Sunday, also attempted to establish a direct link between Khalid and JNU student Sharjeel Imam, who is also in custody in a case related to the February violence in North East Delhi. Imam’s “religious fanaticism” along with his academic legacy and strong public speaking skills served as the “perfect combination” for Khalid, his alleged mentor, the police have claimed.
The Delhi Police went on to call Khalid “deeply communal”, and claimed that Imam’s skills were to be used to execute the riots in the Capital.
“Four events that ultimately led to the emergence of the religious extremist that was taking shape within the conscience of Sharjeel Imam were passage of law declaring triple talaq as illegal, final judgement in the Babri-Masjid case, revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India and the introduction of the Citizenship Amendment Bill,” the police chargesheet said, according to PTI.
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 the violence, which killed 53 people. The case pertains to the alleged larger conspiracy that caused the clashes. A court in Delhi accepted the chargesheet on Tuesday.
‘International embarrassment for India’
The former Jawaharlal Nehru University student allegedly orchestrated the violence during the visit of United States President Donald Trump’s visit, the chargesheet alleged. The aim of the protests was to attract international attention and put pressure on the “anti-minority” Citizenship (Amendment) Act, it added.
“There could not have been a greater international embarrassment for the government of India than to have communal riots raging in the national capital while a visit by the US President was underway in February,” the police said in its supplementary charge sheet.
On his first two-day visit to India in February, Trump along with Modi had addressed a gathering at the “Namaste Trump” event, where he also announced a defence deal worth $3-billion with India. Trump and his family visited three Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Agra, and New Delhi – in two days.
The chargesheet claimed the end goal of all the conspirators was to overthrow an elected government with the sheer use of “engineered, visceral, and vicious” communal violence.
Delhi violence and the investigation
Clashes had broken out between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing it between February 23 and February 26 in North East Delhi, claiming 53 lives and injuring hundreds. The police were accused of either inaction or complicity in some instances of violence, mostly in Muslim neighbourhoods.
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.
The Delhi Police claim the violence was part of a larger conspiracy to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and was planned by those who organised the protests against the amended Citizenship Act. They also 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.
Khalid was arrested under the UAPA in September in the conspiracy case. The Delhi Police arrested 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.