Academics, lawyers, activists condemn Umar Khalid's arrest
Release statement saying the attempts by 'Delhi police to implicate him in a number of fictitious cases of conspiracy for the Delhi violence are part of a brazen attempt to try to suppress his voice of dissent'
After spending hours questioning him on Sunday regarding an alleged conspiracy behind the communal violence that took place in North East Delhi in February, the Delhi Police's Special Cell arrested ex-JNU student leader Umar Khalid on Sunday under sections of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). On Monday, Khalid was produced before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat via video conferencing, with the Delhi Police, claiming in their FIR that the February communal violence was a "premeditated conspiracy" hatched by Khalid and two others, seeking his 10-day custody.
A statement condemning Khalid's arrest, undersigned by prominent citizens including Ravi Kiran Jain, V Suresh, Mihir Desai, ND Pancholi, Satish Deshpande, Mary John, Apoorvanand, Aakar Patel, Harsh Mander, Farah Naqvi, Biraj Patnaik, and Nandini Sundar, describes Khalid as "one of our bravest young voices who spoke for the constitutional values of our country." The statement notes that he had been booked under several charges, including sedition and conspiracy for murder.
According to the statement by prominent citizens describes Khalid as 'one of our bravest young voices who spoke for the constitutional values of our country.' Pic/Suresh Karkera
The statement said, "Umar Khalid has emerged as a strong and powerful voice of young Indians in favour of the Constitution and of democracy. The repeated attempts by the Delhi police to implicate him in a number of fictitious cases of conspiracy for the Delhi violence are part of a brazen attempt to try to suppress his voice of dissent." The statement pointed out that of the 20 people arrested in connection with the case so far, 19 are under the age of 31. Out of these 17 people have been charged under UAPA and have been "imprisoned on charges of a conspiracy for the Delhi violence whereas those who actually instigated and participated in the violence have not been touched."
The statement also drew attention to the possibility of media houses "peddling false information and selective leakages in an attempt to conduct a full-fledged media trial" in an effort to influence the case.
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