Former JNU student Umar Khalid was arrested late on Sunday for his alleged role in the communal violence that broke out in North East Delhi over the Citizenship Amendment Act in February, PTI reported.
The Delhi Police’s Special Cell arrested Khalid under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act after nearly 11 hours of questioning. Khalid has been accused of being one of the main conspirators involved in the violence, a senior unidentified police officer told The Hindu.
Khalid will be produced before a court in Delhi on Monday. Unidentified police officials told The Indian Express that they are likely to file a charge sheet against him in the next few days
Activist group United Against Hate, of which Khalid is a member, said he was arrested as a “conspirator” in the violence. “The fairy tale narrative that DP [Delhi Police] has been spinning and criminalising protests in the garb of investigating riots, finds yet another victim,” the group said in a statement, according to NDTV.
Earlier this month, the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch had questioned the former JNU student.
Khalid’s name had appeared in the chargesheet submitted by the police against suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain. The chargesheet stated that on January 8, Hussain met Khalid and United Against Hate co-founder Khalid Saifi at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, where “Umar Khalid told him to be prepared for something big/riots at the time of the visit of US President [Donald Trump]”.
In April, the former JNU student was charged under the UAPA in another case related to the violence. He was accused of instigating the violence by allegedly making provocative speeches.
The former JNU student at the time had refuted the allegations against him and said he was being falsely implicated. “It is an upside down world that we are living in, in which these organisations and individuals that have worked for communal harmony are being implicated,” he had said.
Khalid’s arrest came a day after the police named Communist Party of India (Marxist) Secretary General Sitaram Yechury, economist Jayati Ghosh, Delhi University professor Apoorvanand, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav and documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy, as people who had “encouraged” the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors as part of a plan.