Delhi police have arrested the ex-Jawaharlal Nehru University Union member, Umar Khalid on the late Sunday evening in connection to the February Northeast Delhi Riots. He is booked under the relevant sections of the Unlawful Assembly (Prevention) Act.
Delhi special cell had summoned him and interrogated him for straight 11-12 hours. Khalid’s phone has also been seized and he has been arrested. He was earlier booked under the UAPA in another case of riots.
Taking note of the arrest, an activist group, United Against Hate, whose member is Umar Khalid, had issued a statement, “After 11 hours of interrogation, the Delhi Police Special Cell has arrested Umar Khalid as a conspirator in the Delhi Riots case. The fairy tale narrative that DP (Delhi Police) has been spinning and criminalising protests in the garb of investigating riots, finds yet another victim.” They had also asked the Delhi Police to ensure Khalid’s safety by all means possible.
“The fight against draconian CAA and UAPA will go on despite all these horrid measures of intimidation. Right now, our first priority is that he should be given maximum security and the Delhi Police must ensure his safety by all means possible,” stated the statement.
Activist Umar Khalid’s arrest came amid the erupted controversy after one of the accused in the riots named CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and Swaraj Abhiyan chief Yogendra Yadav in her disclosure statement. The accused has also named Jayati Ghosh, Delhi University professor Apoorvanand and documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy. The accused had described Ghosh and Roy as their mentors who guided them to carry on the protest even if it will turn violent.
All the names were included in the confessions given by the three accused women —Pinjra Tod members, Jawaharlal Nehru University students Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, and Jamia Millia Islamia University student Gulfisha Fathima. All the three accused were arrested under UAPA in connection to the anti-CAA riots in Jaffrabad, Delhi.
In February 2020, anti-CAA protests led to the most horrific scenes in Delhi. The protests between February 23 to February 26 left almost 53 people dead and hundreds wounded.
Umar Khalid, has been identified as the main conspirator in the Delhi riots and alleged that he had given two provocative speeches where he asked the people to come and block the roads during Donald Trump’s visit to India.
Khalid’s name has also appeared in the charge sheet filed by Delhi police against suspended AAP leader Tahir Hussain in which it was narrated that Khalid and co-founder of United Against Hate, Umar Saifi had met the Tahir Hussain before the riots.