Late on Sunday night, Umar Khalid, former JNU student and son of an ex-SIMI member was arrested for his role in the Delhi anti-Hindu riots that broke out on the 24th of February and claimed over 50 lives. Umar Khalid has reportedly been booked under the stringent UAPA. He was interrogated for hours first, till about 1 PM, according to several claims and then eventually arrested in the evening.
As in the norm following the arrest of accused from the Left or the Islamist cabal, the entire ecosystem had a meltdown alleging that the Delhi Police was fabricating cases and not arrested the people who actually fomented violence in Northeast Delhi. They also claimed that the speech he was being arrested for did not call for any form of violence if heard in full and that Umar Khalid was not in Delhi when the riots broke out, and hence, he could not be guilty of anything that the police are accusing him off.
Delhi Police on Monday got 10 days custody of former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Umar Khalid, who had been arrested a day previously in a case registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Khalid is one of several young activists who have been booked in cases relating to the violence in Delhi in February. The police have invoked provisions of the UAPA to investigate the alleged larger conspiracy behind the riots. While critics have argued that dissenting or protesting peacefully would not amount to causing disaffection against India, the police have told the court that the riots were a result of a bigger conspiracy to overawe the government machinery, and that the conspirators had a specific purpose, object and mandate to cause disaffection and revolt against the Government of India.
The arguments given in Umar Khalid’s favour make little to no sense. Firstly, the fact that he was not in Delhi at the time the riots broke out is no defence at all. He has not been accused of picking up the stones and guns himself. He has been accused of hatching a conspiracy of the riots. Trying to shield Umar Khalid by saying he was not there when the actual violence broke out is the same as saying that Osama Bin Laden cannot be blamed for 9/11 terror attack because he was not flying the plane that hit the twin towers.
Most chargesheets filed in the Delhi anti-Hindu riots case so far have a detailed chronology of events attached to them which starts from the events of December. One has to recall that on the 15th of December, violence broke out in Jamia Millia Islamia. The chargesheet says that some students, ex-students of Jamia and people associated with political parties congregated to protest the CAA and NRC and wanted to march towards the Parliament House and Presidents House. When stopped, they started pelting stones and indulging in violence.
In the process, busses were burnt, cars were damaged, 2 public persons got injured and 10 police personnel also suffered injuries. The first evidence of Umar Khalid’s role in the Delhi Riots came when a speech made by him surfaced. The speech was allegedly made on the 20th of February in Amravati. In the speech, he was clearly heard saying that on the 24th of February, when President Donald Trump visits India, Muslims should ‘show’ the visiting US president that the people of India are fighting against the ruling party of India. The entire speech was about 17 minutes long where Khalid invoked the false narratives of ‘targeted mob lynching’ against Muslims and then went on to say that when the Muslims did not revolt against the Ayodhya judgement by Supreme Court, the government took it for granted that they can bring any law against Muslims.
It was 4 days after this speech, on the 24th of February, as Umar Khalid had predicted, that riots broke out. Ankit Sharma was stabbed over 50 times by the mobs of Tahir Hussain. Dilbar Negi’s arms and legs were chopped off and he was burnt alive by Muslims. Amidst chants of Allahu Abkar and Nara e Taqbeer, Hindus were specifically targeted. The Left and Islamist cabal found nothing wrong with this speech. They, in fact, called it a peaceful speech and said there was nothing in it that incited violence. They find nothing wrong with the fact that Umar Khalid, only 4 days before riots broke out, had specifically mentioned the date 24th of February and said that on that day, they will show how they fight with the government.
Umar Khalid and further details of his role in the riots is likely to be revealed. However, to say that he has been arrested simply because of speech is far from the truth, even though his speech itself was not ‘peaceful’ and ‘innocent’ by any stretch of the imagination. Like they say, 'Right is Right, even if everyone is against it and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it!
(With inputs from Nupur Sharma)