Delhi Court discharges Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi in Delhi riots case

A Delhi Court om yesterday discharged student activist Umar Khalid and United Against Hate member Khalid Saifi in a case connected to the 2020 north east Delhi riots, a National media outlet reported.

Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala pronounced the order today in FIR 101/2020 registered at Police Station Khajuri Khas. A copy of the order is awaited.

Both Khalid and Saifi are on bail in the FIR. However, they continue to remain in judicial custody in the UAPA case alleging a larger conspiracy behind the riots.

The FIR was registered 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 sections 3 and 4 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and section 25 and 27 of Arms Act.

The case was registered on the basis of statement of a constable wherein it was stated that a large crowd had gathered near Chand Bagh Pulia on February 24, 2020 and started pelting stones.

It was alleged that while the police official went to a nearby parking lot to save himself, the mob broke the shutter of the parking lot and thrashed people present inside and also set the vehicles on fire. The case was thereafter transferred to the Crime Branch on February 28, 2020.

As per the prosecution, former Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain’s building was used by the alleged rioters for “brick batting, stone pelting, pelting of petrol bombs and acid bombs”. It was also alleged that the said material was found lying on the third floor and rooftop of the building.

Though Umar was not part of the mob, he and Khalid were accused of criminal conspiracy in the case.

While granting bail to Umar Khalid in the FIR, the court had said that he cannot be permitted to remain behind bars on the basis of sketchy material against him. Noting that the investigation in the case was complete and chargesheet had also been filed, the court had observed that he “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.”