Former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Umar Khalid was arrested by the Delhi police on Sunday and booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act(UAPA) for his alleged role in the northeast Delhi riots, which broke out this February. Khalid was arrested by the special cell of the Delhi police after 11 hours of questioning and will be produced before a Delhi court on Monday.
Khalid was interrogated by the Delhi Police Crime Branch for a few hours on September 2 in connection with the riots. He was previously booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in a different case pertaining to the riots. Earlier, he was also questioned by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police over an alleged conspiracy behind the riots. His mobile phone has also been confiscated by the police.
In the charge sheet filed in this case, Delhi Police had claimed that suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain had said that he had met Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi of ‘United Against Hate’ in January at Shaheen Bagh where Umar Khalid had asked him “to be prepared for something big” during US President Trump’s visit to India.
The Delhi Police on Sunday said it was probing the role of all individuals who allegedly participated in the riots and were part of a larger conspiracy in organising violence in the northeast Delhi and flaming communal passion and hatred amongst communities, an official statement said.
Riots had erupted in northeast Delhi on February 24 as clashes between those supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and those against the legislation turned violent, resulting in the deaths of over 50 people. During the riots, 108 police personnel received injuries and two died.
So far, the Delhi Police has registered 751 FIRs in connection with communal riots. The police also said that the riots also resulted in large-scale damage to both private and public properties. Till now, the police have arrested 1,575 individuals in 751 cases. Over 250 charge sheets have been filed in the riots related cases in which 1,153 accused have been charge-sheeted.
Last week, the Delhi Police has named CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, economist Jayati Ghosh, Delhi University professor and activist Apoorvanand, and documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy as co-conspirators in the February Delhi riots.
They have been accused of asking anti-CAA protesters to go to any extreme, spreading discontent in the community by calling CAA/NRC anti-Muslim, and organise demonstrations to malign the image of the Government of India.
Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters went out of control, leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.