A Delhi court on Thursday granted bail to former student leader Umar Khalid bail in a case related to last year’s Delhi riots that killed more than 50 people, mostly Muslims. Judge Vinod directed Khalid to install the Aarogya Setu app on his mobile phone as part of the bail condition.
The court, according to the Bar and Bench website, said in its bail order, “The investigation in the matter is complete and chargesheet has already been filed. The trial in the matter is likely to take long time. The applicant has been in judicial custody in the matter since 01.10.2020. The applicant cannot be made to incarcerate in jail for infinity merely on account of the fact that other persons who were part of the riotous mob have to be identified and arrested in the matter.”
According to other bail conditions, Khalid has been asked to not tamper with evidence or influence any witnesses related to the case.
Khalid’s former JNU colleague, Shehla Rashid, tweeted, “Mubarak @UmarKhalidJNU Long overdue.
Khalid was arrested by the Delhi Police in September last year under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for his alleged role in the northeast Delhi riots.
Khalid has always denied his involvement in the last year’s anti-Muslim pogrom. His lawyers argued in the court that the former JNU student leader had been falsely implicated in the matter by the investigating agency on account of ‘political vendetta to muzzle the dissent.’
The FIR against Khalid was filed under Sections 109, 114, 147, 148, 149, 153-A, 186, 212, 353, 395, 427, 435, 436, 452/, 454, 505 , 34 and 120-B of IPC along with sec. 3 and 4 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and sec. 25 and 27 of Arms Act.
The court, according to news agency PTI, rejected the prosecution’s argument that Khalid had been in regular contact/touch with co-accused Tahir Hussain and Khalid Saifi over the mobile phone and said that ‘prima facie that does not in any way go on to establish the criminal conspiracy alleged against the applicant in the matter.’