A former scholar leader in India has been arrested for his alleged role in the lethal violence that broke out in the capital New Delhi in February, a transfer activists have dubbed “a witch-hunt exercise”.
Umar Khalid, 33, was arrested on Sunday evening below the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in reference to the violence that left not less than 53 individuals useless, most of them Muslims.
Legal specialists have questioned the police’s utility of the UAPA on college students and activists, because the legislation reduces the scope for bail, which means jail phrases with out trial.
Plenty of different college students and activists behind the nationwide peaceable protests in opposition to a controversial citizenship legislation have been arrested below the UAPA, which was handed final December.
The police as an alternative of doing a good investigation in the Delhi riots has turned it into an train of witch-hunt in opposition to anti-CAA protesters.
Nadeem Khan from United Against Hate
The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which has been dubbed “fundamentally discriminatory” by the UN, fast-tracks citizenship for spiritual minorities from three neighbouring international locations, however doesn’t embrace Muslims.
Civil society group United Against Hate (UAH), of which Khalid is a member, mentioned the previous Jawaharlal Nehru University scholar has been “framed”.
“Umar Khalid has been framed in the Delhi riots as a ‘mastermind’ by the Delhi Police. The police instead of doing a fair investigation in the Delhi riots has turned it into an exercise of witch-hunt against anti-CAA protesters,” Nadeem Khan from UAH instructed Al Jazeera.
“The police first misquoted Khalid’s speeches to frame him and then tried to fabricate witnesses. This is a clear attempt to intimidate democratic voices of dissent into silence.”
‘Frame peaceable activists’
The arrest comes a day after Delhi Police filed circumstances in opposition to distinguished activists and lecturers, accusing them of “provoking and mobilising” anti-CAA protesters.
So far, the police have filed greater than 700 First Information Reports (FIRs) in reference to the riots, however activists say politicians from and supporters of the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who gave hate speeches had been spared.
Instead of submitting FIRS in opposition to these accountable who had been really accountable for the riots, circumstances are attempting to implicate Umar Khalid and another individuals.
Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas, Khalid’s father
Violence broke out in February after a pro-CAA mob attacked peaceable protest web site in northeast Delhi.
“It’s a conspiracy by the police to frame peaceful activists in the guise of investigation,” distinguished lawyer Prashant Bhushan tweeted.
A Delhi Police spokesperson refused to touch upon the difficulty however later shared an announcement with Al Jazeera that mentioned Khalid could be produced earlier than the court docket on Monday.
India’s police ‘complicit’ in anti-Muslim riots, alleges Amnesty
Khalid’s father Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas instructed Al Jazeera that his son was interrogated for the whole day on Sunday. He was later arrested at 11pm native time. It’s widespread in India for police to query suspects in a case earlier than formal arrests.
In April, Khalid, who has a PhD on tribal rights, was charged below UAPA in one other case associated to the worst violence in the capital since anti-Sikh violence in 1984.
“The first FIR, which was filed long back, they have made Umar Khalid the main accused. So many charges were put against my son including sedition charges,” Ilyas instructed Al Jazeera.
“It’s known to everyone who started the riots, who were the people who made hate speeches, who were the main sufferers and who lost the property and lives. Instead of filing FIRS against those responsible for the riots, police are trying to implicate Umar Khalid and some other people.”
Remember yesterday the @DelhiPolice was making an attempt to assert it wasn’t accusing/arresting activists based mostly on “disclosure statements”? Well, they had been mendacity. @UmarKhalidJNU, a nice younger activist defending India’s democracy, has been arrested below UAPA, sedition and so forth. Shame!
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) September 14, 2020
Amnesty International India in its report printed final month accused Delhi Police of “complicity and bias” in the February violence.
But the police have defended its investigation into the lethal riots for which they’ve arrested 1,575 individuals. “Over 250 charge sheets have been filed in the riots related cases in which 1,153 accused (571 Hindus and 582 Muslims) have been charge-sheeted,” the Delhi Police mentioned in an announcement on Sunday.
The police mentioned that the accusations in opposition to them had been “motivated”.
With further reporting by Bilal Kuchay