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Don't talk to media during interim bail: Delhi court tells Khalid

A court here has directed activist and former JNU student Umar Khalid, an accused in the 2020 northeast Delhi riots, to not talk to media or give interviews while granting him interim bail to attend the marriage of his sister.

New Delhi: A court here has directed activist and former JNU student Umar Khalid, an accused in the 2020 northeast Delhi riots, to not talk to media or give interviews while granting him interim bail to attend the marriage of his sister.

Khalid had moved an application seeking interim bail for two weeks from December 20 to January 3..

"....in view of the marriage of the real younger sister of the accused, this court is inclined to grant interim bail for attending the marriage-related functions. Regarding apprehensions of prosecution, those can be taken care of by attaching conditions in the bail…," Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat said in the order which was accessed on Tuesday.

Noting that marriage-related functions were to be held from December 26 to 28, the judge said the court in its "discretion" was exercising its "latitude" and found it fit to grant him interim bail for seven days from December 23. He will have to surrender on December 30.

"Accordingly applicant or accused Umar Khalid is directed to be released on interim bail…on furnishing of personal bond in the sum of Rs 25,000 with two sureties of the like amount," the court said. The court, however, made it clear that Khalid's bail will not be extended.

"The accused…upon his release shall not get in touch with any of the witnesses nor will tamper with evidence and will provide his mobile (phone) number to the investigating officer (IO) and shall keep his mobile phone open (on) till the period of interim bail," the court said.

The court directed Khalid to contact the IO through video calls daily, besides not talking or giving any interviews to "any media, including social media." "He shall not meet any members of the public. He will be entitled to interact with his family members, relatives and friends during the marriage ceremony, but during his entire interim bail period, he shall remain at home…except to attend marriage functions on December 26, 27 and 28 at the designated place," the court said.

It said police may guard the house from outside but shall not go inside the premises. The court directed Khalid to surrender on December 30 before the jail superintendent concerned. Khalid was booked under anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and provisions of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly masterminding with others the 2020 riots which had left 53 people dead and over 700 injured.

The violence had erupted during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Khalid was arrested by the Delhi Police in September 2020 and his regular bail applications were rejected by the present sessions court and the Delhi High Court. He was discharged in one case related to the riots on December 3.

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