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Delhi court rejects Umar Khalid bail plea in 2020 riots

Delhi’s Karkardooma court recently rejected the bail application of former JNU student leader Umar Khalid in the larger conspiracy case linked to the 2020 Delhi riots. He has been in custody since September 2020 in a UAPA case.

The student leader had sought regular bail in the case on the grounds of delay and parity with other accused. Special judge Sameer Bajpai on May 13 had reserved the order on his bail application. The Delhi police’s special public prosecutor had opposed the bail plea calling it as frivolous and baseless.

Meanwhile, Advocate appearing for Khalid had claimed that no terror allegations were levelled against the accused in the Delhi police’s charge sheet and his name was merely repeated in the document. The counsel also argued that by repeating his name, a lie didn’t become the truth. He had also alleged a vicious media trial against his client.

Notably, the Delhi police have accused Umar Khalid of planning protests in 2020 at 23 places, which allegedly led to riots. He had moved the local court after withdrawing his plea from the Supreme Court in February.

Khalid’s lawyer questioned if sharing messages is a criminal or terror act. The SPP had claimed that Umar Khalid was amplifying his narrative as part of a conspiracy by sharing certain links.

Responding, Khalid’s lawyer said that he was sharing the correct narrative. Previously, his lawyer had also argued that Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha, who were granted bail by the Delhi high court, were accused of similar offenses.

Meanwhile, the Special Public Prosecutor submitted that several people took to X to influence Umar Khalid’s bail hearing. While opposing Khalid’s bail, the public prosecutor said that WhatsApp chats also revealed that he is in the habit of creating media and social media narratives at the time of listing bail applications of the person booked in cases to clearly influence bail hearings.

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