Delhi riots case ‘cooked up’ by police, Umar Khalid tells court

New Delhi, August 24 (KMS): Former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Umar Khalid, arrested under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the north-east Delhi riots case, told a Delhi court that there were various contradictions in the police’s claims and called it a “cooked up” case.

Khalid, along with several others, has been booked under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA.

They are accused of being the “masterminds” of the February 2020 violence, which had left 53 people dead and over 700 injured. He has sought bail in the case.

Trideep Pais, Khalid’s lawyer, told Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat that the FIR was cooked up and unnecessary, and was used selectively to target and frame them.

The counsel pointed to two contradictions in Delhi Police’s claims. Firstly, he showed the court a 21-minute video clip of Khalid’s speech in Maharashtra, which the prosecution had allegedly labelled inflammatory.

The lawyer, pursuant to showing the video, apprised the court that his client did not give any call for violence through the speech and in fact gave a message of unity to the people.

Secondly, he argued that as per the police case, Khalid conspired with other accused on January 8 to cause riots during former US President Donald Trump’s visit, however, the news about his visit was announced only in February.

“These are the kind of lies they are peddling. This is a joke. This FIR is a cooked-up theory. Is it that easy to prosecute people? Do you have no responsibility as a prosecution?” Pais said.

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