Saturday, April 1, 2023

‘Vicious’ media campaign against me in Delhi riots case: Umar Khalid alleges before court


Former JNU student leader Umar Kahlid alleged before a Delhi court on Saturday that there has been a “vicious” media campaign against him in various newspapers and on TV channels about his alleged role in the north east Delhi riots. The media platforms were reporting about him on the basis of the supplementary chargesheet filed in a case pertaining to the February riots, even though Khalid did not have a copy of the chargesheet and cannot defend himself in the alleged “media trial” or understand the narrative being built, the application filed by his counsel said.

The application further sought that a soft copy of the chargesheet be provided to him on Saturday itself though the case was earlier fixed for hearing on December 2 for supply of copies to the accused in the matter.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat directed the court staff to provide the soft copy of the supplementary chargesheet to Khalid’s counsel on Saturday. During the hearing, Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, appearing for the police, denied all the allegations raised by Khalid.

Khalid, JNU student Sharjeel Imam and Faizan Khan have been chargesheeted for offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including murder, rioting, unlawful assembly, sedition, criminal conspiracy.

The court had on November 24 taken cognisance of the supplementary chargesheet. While it had decided to proceed against them for the offences under the stringent UAPA, it did not take cognisance of the offences of sedition, criminal conspiracy and some other charges of the Indian Penal Code as the required sanctions were awaited.

Communal violence had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after clashes between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

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