Banojyotsna Lahiri, the girlfriend of Delhi anti-Hindu riot accused Umar Khalid has taken to Twitter to warn legal action against social media users who have been spreading her pregnancy rumours. Notably, Umar Khalid, one of the prime accused of the Delhi anti-Hindu riots 2020, was apprehended by the Delhi police on September 13, 2020, and charged on November 22, 2020, under several provisions of the UAPA and the Indian Penal Code. Khalid has been since then lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail.
Banojyotsna Lahiri posted two Tweets on April 5. In the first Tweet, she threatened social media user @mahimax03, who was apparently the first one to tweet about Lahiri’s pregnancy, with legal action.
Dear @DelhiPolice this woman is spreading deliberate misinformation against me, slandering and assasinating my character! This tantamounts to defamation and targeted harassment! I have initiated legal action against her already, but please take note! https://t.co/aUR3akBqFA— banojyotsna (@banojyotsna) April 5, 2022
Her next Tweet was aimed at another social media user going by the Twitter handle @BrishtiSengupta6, for furthering the rumours.
Dear @DelhiPolice this woman is spreading deliberate misinformation against me, slandering and assasinating my character! This tantamounts to defamation and targeted harassment! I have initiated legal action against her already, but please take note! https://t.co/f3z2bW5mjj— banojyotsna (@banojyotsna) April 5, 2022
In both her Tweets, Banojyotsna Lahiri tagged the Delhi police and wrote, “Dear @DelhiPolice, this woman is spreading deliberate misinformation against me, slandering and assasinating my character! This tantamounts to defamation and targeted harassment! I have initiated legal action against her already, but please take note!”
Lahiri’s response was deliberated by a Tweet first posted by Twitter user @mahimax03. In the Tweet which has now been deleted, @mahimax03 had shared the screenshot of a report published by the Bengali newspaper Anandbazar Patrika. She captioned her Tweet, “Umar Khalid girlfriend is pregnant and she is sad that her kid won’t be able to see father because Umar Khalid is in jail for two years.
Evidently, the Twitter user @mahimax03’s speculation about Banojyotsna Lahiri’s pregnancy was not based on reality. Anandbazar Patrika’s report, published on April 4, nowhere talks about Lahiri’s pregnancy. The Bengali media house had, in fact, picked up a report published by news agency Mid-Day on April 4. The entire Anandbazar Patrika report is based on the information provided in the Mid-Day report with due credit to the latter.
The Mid-Day report, which Anadbazar Patrika curated was also published on April 4. The report was titled, “And she waits for Umar Khalid”. The Mid-Day report is based on an interview with Umar Khalid’s girlfriend Banojyotsna Lahiri, in which the writer Ajaz Ashraf expresses deep sympathy for the riot accused’s girlfriend for being separated from him since the “night of September 13, 2020, when Umar Khalid, the student leader and her soulmate, was arrested.”
The report talks in length about the Banojyotsna’s and Umar Khalid’s melancholy and predicaments but at no point does it talk about Banojyotsna Lahiri’s pregnancy.
Since the report does not mention the pregnancy and Banojyotsna Lahiri herself has refuted the claims, it is safe to assume that the social media user had made a false claim.
Umar Khalid was booked under UAPA
The Delhi Police apprehended Umar Khalid on September 13, 2020, and charged him on November 22, 2020, under several provisions of the UAPA and the Indian Penal Code. In July 2021, Khalid filed a bail application.
It may be noted that Khalid’s bail plea has been rejected thrice since his arrest in September 2020. Most recently, the Delhi Court had refused bail to so-called activist and former JNU student Umar Khalid on 24th March in connection with a case pertaining to the bigger conspiracy in the 2020 Delhi riots, involving offences under the Indian Penal Code and UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). The order was issued today by Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat.
The FIR filed against Khalid includes serious allegations such as Sections 13, 16, 17, 18 of the UAPA, Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act, and Sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act of 1984. He is also charged with a number of offences listed in the Indian Penal Code of 1860.
The bail application of Umar Khalid, represented by Trideep Pais, Ld. Senior Advocate, filed under Section 437 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) read with Section 43D(5) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) on 6th September 2021.