Delhi Police Oppose Umar Khalid’s Bail Plea, Cite Social Media Use in Alleged Conspiracy

In a recent court session on Tuesday, Delhi Police opposed the bail plea of former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student and activist Umar Khalid, linking him to the larger conspiracy surrounding the 2020 northeast Delhi communal riots. The police accused Khalid of leveraging social media platforms and his connections with notable personalities to propagate his narrative, potentially influencing public opinion.

Presented before Additional Sessions Judge Sameer Bajpai, the arguments against Khalid’s bail centered on his alleged engagement with a spectrum of influential figures, including actors, politicians, and activists. The police, represented by Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, highlighted evidence from Khalid’s mobile phone data indicating his distribution of content critical of the Delhi Police’s actions during the riots.

Khalid, who is being tried under the stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), reportedly shared news links with certain celebrities and politicians as part of a concerted effort to sway the discourse on social platforms.

A video clip was also presented in court, featuring an interview with Khalid’s father by a news outlet, in which he expressed skepticism about the Supreme Court’s impartiality. This, according to the prosecution, was indicative of an orchestrated attempt to build a sympathetic narrative for Khalid.

The prosecution also referenced Khalid’s alleged instructions to a WhatsApp group, urging members to organize protests in response to a Supreme Court decision that did not favor him. This was portrayed as further evidence of Khalid’s involvement in a premeditated conspiracy, undermining his eligibility for bail on the grounds of parity with co-accused individuals who have been released.

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The court has deferred the decision on Khalid’s bail plea, with the hearing scheduled to continue on Wednesday, April 10. Khalid faces severe charges under the UAPA and various sections of the Indian Penal Code, accused of playing a pivotal role in orchestrating the February 2020 riots that led to significant loss of life and injury.

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