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Digvijaya Singh comes out in support of urban naxals Shoma Sen and Umar Khalid: Here is what they are facing trial for

Digvijaya Singh suggested that Umar Khalid and Shoma Sen were incarcerated for supposedly 'speaking up' for Dalits and minorities.

On Monday (18th December), veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh came out in support of ‘activists’ Shoma Sen and Umar Khalid who were arrested for their respective roles in the Bhima Koregaon riots and the anti-Hindu riots in Delhi.

While reacting to an X (formerly Twitter) user eulogising Umar Khalid, Singh called for an expedited trial for the two accused. He suggested that Umar Khalid and Shoma Sen were incarcerated for supposedly speaking up for Dalits and minorities.

“Most respected Hon CJI Your Lordship is it Justice to keep Prof Soma Sen and Umar Khalid in Jail? I always believed “Justice delayed is Justice denied” Bhima Koregaon and CAA/NRC are two such cases,” the veteran Congress leader brazened out.

“Who are the accused? Who spoke up for Dalits and who spoke up for Minorities. Doesn’t our Indian Constitution provide protection to the SCST and Minorites? Is it a crime to speak up for them?” Digvijaya Singh attempted to give a clean chit to the duo by conveniently ignoring their role in instigating violence.

Bhima Koregaon riots and arrest of Shoma Sen

The Bhima Koregaon case pertains to an event named ‘Elgar Parishad’ organised at Shaniwar Wada in Bhima Koregaon village of Maharashtra on December 31, 2017.

Violence broke out on the following day (1st January 2018) at the village where lakhs of Dalits had gathered to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon.

The said battle was won by the British Army against the Peshwas in 1818. On 8th January 8, 2018, Pune Police lodged an FIR and the probe revealed that the event was organised by urban Naxals.

Shoma Sen, who has now received support from Digvijaya Singh, was arrested by the Pune Police on 8th June 2018 for her involvement in the Bhima Koregaon violence. She was charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for her links to Maoist groups.

Sen was eventually suspended from her position as the Head of the English Department at the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU). She has also been a part of the controversial organisation, Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR).

It may be recalled that a letter was unearthed by Pune Police in 2018 suggesting plans to assassinate Prime Minister Modi in a “Rajiv Gandhi type incident” by “targeting road shows”. Sen’s name too came up in connection to the assassination plot.

A number of Naxal ideologues and urban Naxals were arrested including Stan SwamyHany Babu, Sudha Bharadwaj, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara Rao and Gautam Navlakha in connection to the Bhima Koregaon case.

Umar Khalid and his role in Delhi riots

The Delhi Police apprehended Umar Khalid on September 13, 2020, and charged him on November 22 that year under several provisions of the UAPA and the Indian Penal Code.

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.

It must be mentioned that the e prime accused in the Delhi anti-Hindu riots case, former AAP councillor, Tahir Hussain, has named Umar Khalid as the one who introduced him to Khalid Saifi for planning the riots in the city.

Earlier, an FIR was registered against Umar Khalid which said that the Delhi Riots were a preplanned conspiracy that was hatched by the former JNU student and his associates.

As part of the conspiracy, Umar Khalid is accused of giving provocative speeches at two different locations and appealing to people to take to the streets during the visit of US President Donald Trump so that the propaganda that minorities are oppressed in India can be internationalised.

In the chargesheet, it is also mentioned that Umar Khalid had told Tahir Hussain not to be concerned about the funding for the riots as the Popular Front of India (PFI) would provide the funding as well as logistic support.

It may be noted that Khalid’s bail plea has been rejected multiple times since his arrest in September 2020.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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