Khalid Saifi is a father of three children, social activist, philanthropist, businessman, and a community leader; the 40-year-old has always been popular locally in Khureji Khas, where he was born and brought up. He is one of the Founders of United Against Hate (UAH). He has been vocal against hate speech, violence, and communalism.
Life and Activism
United Against Hate (UAH) is a campaign that was started in July 2017 in response to the series of lynchings that had taken place around that time. According to a report in Mint, the UAH helpline was used to prevent a possible communal altercation in Dausa, Rajasthan. A slight change of focus took place after the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in December 2019, with UAH giving its full support to the campaign against the CAA, NRC and NPR. Khalid Saifi led the anti-CAA protest at Khureji sit-in along with Ishrat Jahan.
Circumstances of Arrest
He was arrested on February 26, 2020, in a case related to the northeast Delhi riots. Along with another activist and leader, Ishrat Jahan, he was taken to a police station and tortured in custody. His wife, Nargis Saifi, reported seeing him in a wheelchair the next day.
Charges & Allegations –
He was booked under UAPA by the Delhi Police. It was alleged that Khalid Saifi was one of the main organisers of the Khureji Protest site which was near Badi Masjid in the Khureji area. He was arrested under FIR 44 and later accused under FIR 101 and FIR 59 under several sections of UAPA. FIR 44, FIR 101, FIR 59 (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act), under the following sections of UAPA: Sections 147 (rioting), 186 (obstructing public servant from discharging duty), 149 (unlawful assembly), 148 (rioting, with a deadly weapon), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from doing duty) and 307 (attempt to murder), 34 (common intention) of the IPC and Section 25/27 of the Arms Act.
After two bail pleas by him in March 2020 and July 2020, he was granted bail on September 11, 2020, for FIR 44 and on November 2, 2020, for FIR 101. The Court said that the evidence submitted was insignificant, implying no connection of Khalid Saifi in the conspiracy case the police alleged. However, he is still in jail as he hasn’t been granted bail for FIR 59 (UAPA). Before the first two bails were issued, he was accused of having links with Islamic researcher and preacher Dr. Zakir Naik and it was alleged that he was receiving support from Dr. Zakir Naik for spreading his agenda, an allegation Dr. Zakir Naik denies, saying he hasn’t even met Khalid. Contending that the allegations against him are “prima facie true”, a Delhi court on April 8, 2022, dismissed the bail plea filed by Khalid Saifi in the Delhi riots’ larger conspiracy’ case.
While Khalid remains confined in prison, his wife Nargis Saifi, with her three children, is anticipating her husband’s release. Nargis now use Khalid’s Twitter handle to raise awareness about Khalid’s unlawful incarceration and voice dissent against similar causes.