Former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid has been arrested by the Delhi Police’s special cell for his alleged role in the riots that broke out in north-east neighbourhoods of the national capital in February this year.
Umar Khalid was earlier charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in another case related to the riots. He had been questioned on July 31, when his mobile phone was seized by the police, news agency PTI reported. He was then summoned on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday, after being questioned during the day, he was arrested at night.
“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,” United Against Hate, an activist group whose member is Umar Khalid, said in a statement on Sunday.
Violence in parts of north-east Delhi from February 23 to 26 – after weeks of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens – had left over 50 dead and hundreds injured, many with gunshot wounds.
The FIR against Umar Khalid states, states, as quoted by the Indian Express: “Khalid allegedly gave provocative speeches at two different places and appealed to the citizens to come out on the streets and block the roads during the visit of US President Donald Trump to spread propaganda at the international level about how minorities in India are being persecuted.”
He is one of many other students, Muslim activists, journalists, and academicians who had been peacefully protesting against the CAA and NRC, who have been framed for the violence largely committed by Hindu mobs against Muslim residents of Delhi.
Meanwhile, no attempt has been made by the Delhi Police to arrest or convict the people who attempted to murder Umar Khalid and shot at him outside the Constitution Club of India in Delhi in 2018. One of the accused, Naveen Dalal, contested elections in Haryana last year.
Further, the Delhi police has made no attempts to arrest Kapil Mishra, who had called for violence against Muslim anti-CAA-NRC protestors shortly before the violence broke out.