Faizan came to Delhi in 2017 in search of better opportunities. His father died in 2019 from paralysis. With his three young siblings, Faizan is the family’s sole breadwinner. He wanted to make money to survive in a city like Delhi. As an unmarried 35-year-old youth, his priority was to take care of the family.
The violence in North East Delhi broke out in February 2020. The Police alleged a conspiracy behind the riots and implicated Muslim youths under UAPA. FIR number 59/2020 is infamously known as the North East Delhi riots conspiracy case.
Faizan Khan is a 35-year-old SIM card seller. He is a resident of Batla House and was working at Golden Communications for Airtel.
In July 2020, Faizan Khan was arrested for his role in the alleged conspiracy.
Circumstances of Arrest
Faizan was engaged in his quotidian life before the Delhi Police filed charges against him. According to the Police, Faizan supplied the Sim card to another person accused of alleged conspiracy based on a fake ID.
The activated number was allegedly used on WhatsApp groups to instigate violence by the Jamia Coordination Committee, a body that includes students, alumni, and faculty from Jamia Millia Islamia.
In an interview, Faizan told the reporter, “Golden communications sell mobile, accessories and SIM cards. I was sent by Airtel to work at this store. to meet these targets, we would often leave the store and roam the market to get the numbers activated. In the chance that we were not able to meet targets, we would activate some numbers sometimes. This number in question is one we had activated within our staff members itself. However, that does not mean that I gave the number to anyone. I had no idea where the number went. It was in the shop for very long, and when I asked others in the staff they said they did not know when it left the shop either.”
The Delhi Police interrogated him at intervals. On 29th July 2020, the Delhi Police registered the FIR against Khan and arrested him.
Charges and Allegations
He was arrested under UAPA for his alleged involvement in the conspiracy. UAPA is a stringent anti-terrorism law. The law has been condemned by Civil Society, raising concerns about its blatant misuse by the Police.
Delhi High Court granted bail to Faizan Khan in October 2020. The Court observed, “It is pertinent to mention here that the onerous conditions/embargo under section 43D (5) of the UAPA, 1967 will not be applicable in the present case qua the petitioner herein as per the material on record and the investigating agency owns status report, which does not disclose the commission of the offences under the UAPA, 1967, except bald statements of the witnesses.” Justice Suresh Kumar Kait’s bail order.