Former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Umar Khalid has been arrested by the Delhi Police's special cell for his alleged involvement in the violent riots that broke out in north-east Delhi this year in February. The student leader has been charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in connection with the riots.
"After 11 hours of interrogation, the Delhi Police Special Cell has arrested Umar Khalid as a conspirator in the Delhi Riots case. The fairy tale narrative that DP (Delhi Police) has been spinning and criminalising protests in the garb of investigating riots, finds yet another victim," United Against Hate, an activist group, of which Khalid is also a member said on September 13.
According to police, an FIR was registered against Umar Khalid on March 6 based on details provided by an informer to Sub-Inspector Arvind Kumar of the narcotics unit of the Crime Branch.
According to the FIR, the informer had said that the riots in February were part of a "premeditated conspiracy" allegedly hatched by Khalid, one Danish, and two others associated with multiple organisations.
The violence that continued for 72 hours following widespread protests and agitation against Citizenship Amendment Act claimed at least 53 lives and left over 400 people injured.
Umar Khalid was questioned last month as well in connection with an alleged conspiracy behind the violence that shook the national capital. According to the charges, he had allegedly given provocative speeches at two different locations and incited people to come out on the streets and block roads during the visit of US President Donald Trump.
Umar Khalid's arrest comes soon after a political row erupted over CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and Swaraj Abhiyan chief Yogendra Yadav being named in a disclosure statement of an accused in connection with the Delhi riots. The statement also names economist Jayati Ghosh, Delhi University professor Apoorvanand and documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy.