A court in Delhi on Wednesday extended by 14 days former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid’s judicial custody in a case related to the large-scale communal violence in the Capital in February, PTI reported.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Dinesh Kumar noted that there was sufficient basis for the extension of Khalid’s custody. He was hearing the case related to riots in the Muslim-dominated Khajuri Khas area in North East Delhi.
Kumar said that there was no scope for hearing Khalid’s request for permission to oppose the remand application because his lawyer had not filed a bail application.
“No doubt remand of an accused should not be extended mechanically,” the magistrate said. “However, there is no scope of hearing the counsel of the accused and giving him/her opportunity to oppose the remand application whenever the remand is to be extended.”
The court added that Khalid could move a bail application if he believed that “there is no need of the custody and therefore, there is no requirement of extension of judicial custody remand”.
- Delhi violence: Umar Khalid calls media campaign against him ‘vicious’, seeks copy of chargesheet
- Umar Khalid used Sharjeel Imam’s ‘religious fanaticism’ to provoke Delhi riots, claims chargesheet
- Delhi violence: Umar Khalid’s custody extended ‘illegally and mechanically’, his counsel tells court
Khalid has also been arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in a separate case relating to larger conspiracy in the violence in September. The Delhi Police had on November 22 filed a chargesheet against Khalid and student activists Sharjeel Imam and Faizan Khan in the case.
In the 200-page chargesheet, the police claimed that Khalid had “remotely controlled” the riots that had killed 53 people. The former JNU student was accused of orchestrating the violence during United States President Donald Trump’s visit to Delhi.
The chargesheet also attempted to establish a direct link between Khalid and Imam, who is also in custody in a case related to the February violence in North East Delhi. The police claimed that Imam’s “religious fanaticism” along with his academic legacy and strong public speaking skills served as the “perfect combination” for Khalid, his alleged mentor.
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.
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 Amendment 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.