A video message recorded by activist and former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid before his arrest was played at a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday. Khalid was arrested by Delhi Police late on Sunday night under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for his alleged role in the communal violence that broke out in North-East Delhi in February 2020.
“If you are watching this video, it means that I have been arrested,” Khalid said in the video. “The Delhi Police is not arresting the rioters who incited and caused the large-scale communal violence in the capital in February. But instead, it is going after those who criticise the government and its policies, especially the Citizenship Amendment Act. The ones who participated in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests are being wrongly framed without proofs,” he added.
Khalid talked about an old speech of his that had been mischievously edited and made viral with the claim that it was an attempt to incite riots. The activist also claimed that the police are coercing people into giving false declarations with the intent of locking up all those who criticise the government behind the bars.
Ending his message with an appeal, Khalid urged listeners “not to be scared”.
“Strengthen your voice against injustice,” he said.