Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Dinesh Kumar on January 5 said that there was sufficient evidence on record to proceed against Umar Khalid in the case of communal violence in Khajuri Khas area. The court added that there is reasonable ground to prima facie show that JNU student leader Umar Khalid and former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain and others conspired to carry out the northeast anti-Hindu Delhi Riots last year.
The court has extended the judicial custody of all accused till January 19, 2021.
Accused persons include Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal.
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) January 5, 2021
Witness statement sufficient to prove his involvement
The court said that the witness statement was sufficient to allege that Khalid was in constant contact with Hussain, who is the main accused in the case. Hussain had funded the anti-Hindu riots and provoked the mob from his house to rob the Hindus and burn down their properties. The prosecution has named Khalid allegedly an active participant in the criminal conspiracy to instigate communal riots in different parts of the National Capital.
Accused’s provocation led to robbery and arsenal
The court said that the accused instigated the people of a particular community that led to mob robbing and burning down buildings including houses, shops etc. of Hindus. They also destroyed public property. The court had recorded the state of a witness named Rahul Kasana under Section 161 (examination by police) of CrPC. Kasana was working as a driver of Hussain during that time.
The court noted that Kasana, in his statement, said that he had seen accused Hussain giving out money to the people who were participating in protests against the Citizen Amendment Act. Kasana further alleged in his statement that on January 8, 2020, he took Hussain to Shaheen Bagh where Hussain entered an office. After some time, he saw Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi allegedly entering the same office. The court further noted that Hussain came out after 1-1.5 hours.
The statement of the witness was sufficient to show that Hussain and Khalid were in contact. There is adequate evidence against Hussain on record to prima facie show he was the main conspirator behind the anti-Hindu Delhi riots. Hussain had arranged funds and provoked mob from his house. Hence, there is reasonable ground to show both accused Hussain and Khalid, along with others, had conspired to commit crimes mentioned in the charge sheet, the court noted.
Give a copy of supplementary charge sheet to Khalid
The court has directed the investigating officer to provide a copy of the supplementary charge sheet to Khalid through the concerned Jail Superintendent. The court also noted the application submitted by Khalid alleging that news agencies are running media campaigns against him. He had also alleged that some media sections got hold of the supplementary charge sheet before he or his advocate could get it.
Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad did not object to the demand and said that the same arrangements could be made for all accused to read a copy of the supplementary charge sheet.
As per the reports, a supplementary charge sheet was filed against Khalid on December 26, 2020. The main charge sheet was filed in June last year that had named Hussain as the main conspirator and included the name of 14 others including Khalid and Saifi. In October 2020, Khalid was arrested in the Delhi Riots case, and since then he is judicial custody. In a separate case related to riots, Khalid was arrested in September 2020. He was booked under the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The anti-Hindu Delhi Riots
On February 24, 2020, anti-Hindu riots broke in Delhi on the pretext of protests against Citizen Amendment Act. It is believed that there was a conspiracy to instigate people from a particular community against Hindus that led to the riots. Around 53 people died including IB officer Ankit Sharma and Uttarakhand migrant worker Dilbar Negi. Over 200 people were reported injured. Public and private property worth crores was burnt down on February 24 and 25. You can learn more about the anti-Hindu Delhi riots through our comprehensive reports or read about the chronology of events that led to the riots in the OpIndia’s information available on Kindle.