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JNU student leader Umar Khalid and 2 Jamia students booked by Delhi Police under UAPA Act

JNU student leader Umar Khalid and two other leaders from Jamia Coordination Committee, Meeran Haider and Safoora Zargar have been booked by the Delhi Police under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for instigating anti-Hindu riots and communal violence over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in northeast Delhi. Zargar is the media coordinator of Jamia Coordination Committee and Haider is a member of the committee. Both of them are in a judicial custody for allegedly creating a conspiracy to provoke the communal riots in February. Haider (35) may be a PhD student and therefore the president of RJD youth wing’s Delhi unit, while Zargar is an MPhil student of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) university. The FIR says that the communal violence was a ‘premeditated conspiracy’ and which was allegedly started by Khalid and two others. The activists have also been booked for sedition, murder, attempt to murder, promoting hatred for different religious groups and riots.

The FIR further stated that during the visit of US President Donald Trump, Khalid had given provocative speeches at two different places and has asked people to come out on streets and block roads during the visit to spread propaganda at international level about how minorities in India are being treated. The conspiracy involved firearms, stones, petrol bombs and acid bottles which were collected from several homes by police. The co-accused Danish was given the responsibility to collect people to require part within the riots, women and youngsters were made to dam roads under Jafrabad metro station in February to create tension among people.

Akram Khan, Haider’s lawyer said that the police have added UAPA and FIR in his client’s name. Earlier Haider was booked under sections 147,148 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code. Later the police had added charges under Sections 124A (sedition), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion). Safoora Zargar was arrested in April, she organised anti-CAA protest and road blockage which later turned out to be violent. The FIR was registered by sub-inspector stating that the violence was a premeditated conspiracy allegedly started by Khalid and two others.

Over 20 celebrities like Anurag Kashyap, Vishal Bhardwaj, Mahesh Bhatt and Ratna Pathak Shah have given a statement for the arrest of students and leaders for protesting under CAA and demand their release. On this note Delhi police said that all the arrests have been made on the basis of forensic reports. Rajya Sabha MP and RJD leader Manoj Jha had tweeted, “Delhi Police called him for investigation then received orders from above and arrested Meeran Haider, who has been helping people during the time of coronavirus outbreak.” The Jamia Coordination Committee has condemned the arrest and demanded immediate release of the students , they said, “The country is facing a massive health crisis; however, the state machinery is busy harassing and framing student activists in false cases to suppress voices of dissent,” they further stated that Haider was tirelessly working to provide ration to the needy people.

Massive communal riots broke out in Delhi earlier in February causing huge loss of lives and property. Home Minister has given a statement that he will be looking into the matter and thorough investigation will be done and the decision could be carried out.

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