NE Delhi riots: Unconnected incidents put together to show conspiracy, Umar Khalid’s counsel tells HC

Concluding his arguments in the appeal for bail in the alleged case of larger conspiracy behind the Northeast Delhi riots, activist Umar Khalid’s counsel Thursday argued that completely unconnected incidents have been put together in the chargesheet to show a conspiracy.

The division bench of Justice Siddharth Mirdul and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar since April 22 has been hearing Khalid’s appeal against the dismissal of his bail by the lower court. The special public prosecutor will begin his arguments in the case on Monday.

Senior Advocate Trideep Pais, representing Khalid, earlier submitted that five WhatsApp groups have been cited in the chargesheet but he was a member of only two and out of them, he posted messages in only one. The four messages included the location of a protest site and information regarding his communication with a police officer who wanted people to deescalate the protests, said Pais.

“No eyewitness or any witness speaks of his presence in any situation of violence in any part of Delhi during the protest against CAA. Not a single witness of alleged violence has spoken against him,” said Pais, adding that the statements against him are very proximate to his arrest “indicating some material was being built up just before his arrest”.

Regarding the 17 incidents mentioned in the chargesheet, Pais said that there are no witnesses for eight. Rhetorical statements to what extent the protest has to be taken does not amount to terrorist activity, contended Pais. “In any way they are not connected to actual violence,” he said.

Challenging the allegation of conspiracy in the case, Pais further said that 17 incidents have no connection with each other except that they were opposed to CAA and spoke about ‘chakka jam’ and protest.

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