"Transcript of Umar Khalid's video relied by Delhi Police as evidence retrieved from tweet of a member of BJP", argues Counsel in Umar Khalid's bail plea before Delhi Court

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A Delhi Court today was hearing bail application of former JNU student Umar Khalid  against FIR 59/2020 registered in the unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) case against him in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots.

The matter was being heard by ASJ Amitabh Rawat.

Advocate Trideep Pais appearing for Khalid argued that 750 FIRs were  registered in connection with the Delhi Riots but Khalid was not named in a single FIR.

Pais argued that the FIRs have been unnecessarily filed against khalid and were targeted against persons important to the protest.

“The basis of the FIR in the present case was “chakka Jam” and “bhadkau Bhashan” at different places, but the prosecution was able to produce only one speech forget speeches”, submitted Pais.

Pais alleged that the FIR and subsequent chargesheets were fabricated. “The chargesheet will not stand the test. “Laughable” statements have been made. It is only to keep these people in jail. I submit none of the people in FIR 59 should be held in custody.”

Referring to bail provisions under various special legislations, Pais submitted that “the distress of judiciary are POTA, TADA, UAPA because the hands of judiciary are tied in granting bail to the accused.”

Pais further pointed that the transcription of Umar Khalid’s speech in Amrawati broadcasted by News 18 and Republic World  which was relied as an evidence by Police against Khalid was retrieved from a tweet of a BJP member.

In this context Pais submitted “These are journalists who see video on YouTube and do not go to the event and are unable to provide the raw footage. The video was picked up from a tweet by a member of BJP…They have gone to the extent of fabricating statements that are shocking. You have a truncated version of video from YouTube which is copied from a tweet.

The entire video footage of Khalid’s speech at Amrawati, Maharashtra was played before the Court.

In this regard Pais submitted “The reason that the entire speech was played was because to show that the contents are not seditious but opposed to the introduction of the new law. This is the starting point, he says “aap hinsa karenge toh hum pyar dikhayenge, aap jail bhejenge toh hum saare jahan se acha gakar sunayenge.” This is what is happening. They are all in jail. This video is the best evidence against me and that too I have produced it.”

The Court has adjourned the matter for next hearing on September 3.

The Delhi Police in earlier  had told the Court that Khalid’s bail application did not have any merits.

The Delhi Police, in their chargesheet have alleged that Khalid “begrudgingly accepted the idea of India in 2016, with a plan to break up India in 2020 where all relations were based on the concept of Ummah, with total decimation of secular, national identities”.

On September 13,2020 Khalid was arrested in connection with communal clashes that broke out in northeast Delhi in February 2020, after violence between Citizenship (Amendment) Act supporters and its protesters became out of control  leaving many people dead and several injured.

Khalid was granted bail in April in another case but has been languishing in Tihar Jail over conspiracy charges under UAPA. 

Besides Khalid, several others including Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, Safoora Zargar,  Asif Iqbal Tanha and former Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain, and have also been booked under the UAPA.


Case Title: Umar Khalid vs State