Court discharges Umar Khalid, Khalid Saifi in North-East Delhi riots case

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NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Saturday discharged former JNU student leader Umar Khalid and ‘United Against Hate’ (UHA) member Khalid Saifi in connection with the North-East Delhi riots case. However, the court did frame charges against former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillor Tahir Hussain, his brother Shah Alam and others in the case.

The FIR in the case in question was registered at Khajuri Khas police station. The case pertains to an incident of arson in a parking lot in the Chand Bagh area of N-E Delhi and assault on police personnel and others who had taken shelter from rioters there. Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala issued the order discharging Khalid and Saifi in the case.

The former JNU student leader, whose name had earlier come up in connection with the chanting of alleged anti-national slogans on JNU campus, had already secured bail in the riots case along with Saifi. However, they continue to be lodged in judicial custody in connection with a ‘larger conspiracy’ in the 2020 riots.

Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Madhukar Pandey told reporters that the court discharged the Khalid and Saifi after noting that they are already facing prosecution in the ‘larger conspiracy’ case. He further informed that the other accused persons, including the AAP councillor, were charged with offences related to rioting and other sections.

This case was registered on the complaint of a Delhi police constable. While the case was filed at the Khajuri Khas police station, the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police later took over the probe. The case was registered under IPC Sections 109, 114, 147, 148, 149, 153-A, 186, 212, 353, 395, 427, 435, 436, 452, 454, 505, 34 and 120-B, along with Sections 3 and 4 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act.

It was alleged that a large crowd was pelting stones near Chand Bagh Pulia on February 24, 2020, prompting the police personnel at the scene to take shelter inside a nearby parking lot. The parking lot was near the residence of the former AAP councillor.

It was alleged that a mob broke open the gate of the parking facility and assaulted people who were sheltered inside.
The mob also allegedly set some vehicles on fire. In the violence that erupted, a total of 53 persons died and about 700 were injured. (ANI)

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