Delhi Riots 2020: HC to pronounce verdict tomorrow on bail plea

It has contended that the speeches delivered by various accused in the case have one common factor that the essence was to create a sense of fear in the Muslim population .
Delhi High Court
Delhi High Court

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court will on Tuesday pronounce its verdict on a bail plea by former JNU student Umar Khalid, who was arrested over two years, in a UAPA case related to the alleged conspiracy behind the February 2020 riots in the city.

A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar had on September 9 reserved its order on the plea.

Khalid has argued that neither did he have a criminal role in the violence in North-east Delhi nor any conspiratorial connect with the other accused in the case.

He has submitted that there is no material to support the case of the prosecution against him and his Amravati speech in February 2020 which forms the basis of the allegations against him not only had a categorical call for non-violence but also did not lead to violence anywhere.

The Delhi Police opposed the bail plea by Khalid, saying the speech delivered by him was a very calculated and brought up issues like Babri Masjid, triple talaq, Kashmir, the alleged suppression of Muslims and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The agency has argued that riots happened in two phases, first in 2019 and then in February 2020, and that misinformation was spread during the riots apart from blockade of roads, attack on police personnel and paramilitary forces, violence in non-Muslim areas, etc.

It has contended that the speeches delivered by various accused in the case have one common factor that the essence was to create a sense of fear in the Muslim population .

Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, and several others have been booked under the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and provisions of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly being the "masterminds" of the February 2020 riots, which had left 53 people dead and over 700 injured.

The violence had erupted during the protests against CAA and NRC.

The high court had issued notice to the Delhi Police on Khalid's bail plea in April.

Khalid was arrested by Delhi Police in September 2020,

Besides Khalid, activist Khalid Saifi,JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain and several others have also been booked under the stringent law in the case.

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