News Brief

Delhi Riots Investigations: Controversial JNU Activist Umar Khalid Arrested Under UAPA

Swarajya Staff

Sep 14, 2020, 07:38 AM | Updated 07:38 AM IST

(Umar Khalid, file photo)
(Umar Khalid, file photo)

Umar Khalid, the former Jawaharlal Nehru University student and controversial activist, was arrested by Delhi Police special cell late Sunday evening. He was arrested under the very stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Khalid had been summoned for questioning on Sunday, following which the Delhi Police seized his phone and a little later took him into custody. He had been previously questioned on July 31 as well. An FIR had been registered against Khalid on March 6 based on inputs by police informers. Khalid is said to have been involved with hatching a conspiracy to instigate riots in north east Delhi along with three others.

According to the FIR Khalid reportedly 'appealed to the citizens to come out on the streets and block the roads during the visit of US President Donald Trump to spread propaganda at the international level about how minorities in India are being persecuted.'

Khalid is also mentioned in a chargesheet filed by Delhi Police Crime Branch against former Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. In the chargesheet the investigating officer has said that a month before riots Hussain met with Umar Khalid and another activist. They were asked to be "prepared for something big/riots at the time of Trump's visit". Further, Khalid was also promised financial help.

According to an ANI report, Hussain has previously admitted during his interrogation that he had incited mob to unleash violence in the area during United States President Donald Trump's visit. He had also met former JNU student Umar Khalid at extremist Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI)'s office in Shaheen Bagh on 8 January, he confessed as per the report.

Umar Khalid came to limelight when he, along with several others, raised anti-India slogans during an event held to protest the execution of 2001 Indian Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and separatist Maqbool Bhat.

The Delhi Police then arrested former JNU student union president President Kanhaiya Kumar for involvement with the event on charges of sedition. Umar Khalid along with four others went into hiding and were arrested a few days later when they came back to the university. A university committee conducted an enquiry and rusticated Khalid for one semester, a decision that was upheld by the courts.

Get Swarajya in your inbox.