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Delhi riots: Court rejects Umar Khalid’s plea to meet his family, police say he is ‘non-cooperative’

Justice Amitabh Rawat ruled, "In the totality of facts and circumstances of the case, I see no merit in the application and accordingly, the application is dismissed."

On Saturday, a Delhi Court rejected the plea of Delhi riots accused and former JNU activist Umar Khalid, seeking permission to meet family members during police remand.

In his plea, Khalid had argued that verbal assurance was earlier given to him that he would be allowed to meet his family members. His lawyer told the Delhi court that the accused seeks permission to meet his family as he has been in the police custody for an ‘extraordinarily’ long period.

Khalid has been sent to police remand till September 24.

Umar Khalid had sought permission to meet his family for 30 minutes on at least 2 days. The investigating officer revealed that Khalid was non-cooperative when confronted during the investigation. Arguing against the grant of relief, the investigating officer stated that permitting the accused to meet his family can be ‘a hindrance’ to the investigation process. He added that if Khalid wanted, then, he could convey his message to his family via his lawyer.

Delhi court rejects plea of Umar Khalid

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat did not find any merit in his application. He stated that Khalid’s lawyer had requested a special meeting time during his police custody. The Court observed that the permission for the same was granted and the counsel was allowed to meet the accused every day for a period of 30 minutes.

The Delhi Court noted, “There was also an apprehension of safety raised by the counsel for the accused and thus a specific direction was also given to the concerned DCP (Deputy Commissioner of Police) to ensure the safety of the accused.” When approached with a new application again this time, Justice Amitabh Rawat ruled, “In the totality of facts and circumstances of the case, I see no merit in the application and accordingly, the application is dismissed.”

The role of Umar Khalid in Delhi riots

Umar Khalid, along with several others such as Jamia media coordinator Safoora Zargar, RJD’s youth wing president Meeran Haider, Pinjra Tod activist Natasha Narwal and several others have been booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for allegedly instigating the violence that swept over large swathes of the northeast Delhi in February earlier this year.

The Delhi Police Crime Branch in its FIR dated 6th March 2020 had stated that the anti-Hindu riots that took place in North East Delhi between 24-26 February during the visit of US President Donald Trump were pre-planned. The FIR copy stated that the anti-Hindu riots conspiracy was hatched by ex-JNU student Umar Khalid and his associates who are linked with two groups.

As part of the conspiracy, Umar Khalid gave provocative speeches at two different locations and appealed to people to take to streets during the visit of US President Donald Trump so that the propaganda that minorities are oppressed in India can be internationalized. The FIR also claimed that in this conspiracy, firearms, petrol bombs, acid bottles and stones were collected at numerous homes.

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