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Delhi Riots Larger Conspiracy: Court Denies Bail To Saleem Khan, Defers Orders On Pleas By Meeran Haider & Sharjeel Imam

Nupur Thapliyal
22 March 2022 10:55 AM GMT
Delhi Riots Larger Conspiracy: Court Denies Bail To Saleem Khan, Defers Orders On Pleas By Meeran Haider & Sharjeel Imam
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A Delhi Court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of Mohd. Saleem Khan in connection with a case alleging larger conspiracy into the Delhi riots of 2020, involving charges under Indian Penal Code and UAPA.Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat pronounced the order after hearing Advocate Mujeeb ur Rehman appearing for Saleem Khan and Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad appearing for the...

A Delhi Court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of Mohd. Saleem Khan in connection with a case alleging larger conspiracy into the Delhi riots of 2020, involving charges under Indian Penal Code and UAPA.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat pronounced the order after hearing Advocate Mujeeb ur Rehman appearing for Saleem Khan and Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad appearing for the State.

The Court however deferred passing orders for the second time on the bail plea moved by co-accused Sharjeel Imam. Order on Imam's bail plea will be pronounced on March 26, Whereas Meeran Haider's bail plea will be decided on March 25.

Referring to Section 15 of the UAPA Act which defines a terrorist act, the prosecution had argued that the riots were meticulously planned, there was destruction of properties, disruption of essential services, use of petrol bombs, lathis, stones etc., and therefore meeting the criteria which is required under 15(1)(a)(i),(ii) and (iii) of the Act.

The prosecution had added that a total of 53 people died during the riots, 142 people were Injured in first phase of riots and other 608 were injured in the second phase.

The prosecution had argued that the 2020 sit-in protests were carefully planned, picking strategic protest sites closer to 25 mosques. He had submitted that these sites were places with religious significance but were purposely given Secular names to give legitimate appearance to the allegedly communal protests.

Prosecution had referred to a December 20, 2019 meeting which was attended by Umar Khalid with Harsh Mander, members of United Against Hate, Swatantra Nagrik Sangathan, etc. The prosecution had averred that this meeting was key in deciding the areas of protest and strategies to mitigate police clashes by keeping women at the forefront.

It was also argued that the the issue regarding the protests was not CAA or NRC but to embarrass the Government and to take such steps that it gets highlighted in the International media.

Main thrust of prosecution's arguments was that the DPSG group was a highly sensitive group wherein every small message was privately deliberated upon and then passed forward to other members. Every decision taken was conscious and well thought over, prosecution had said.

The prosecution had submitted that while the case of the prosecution is not that every person who surfaces in the conspiracy has to be made an accused and that merely being silent on a group does not make one an accused, however, it was added that in case evidence is found against any person, criminal action has to follow.

In this backdrop, The prosecution had argued that there was a 'conspiracy of silence' in committing the 2020 North East Delhi riots, idea behind which was to completely put the system under paralysis.

The FIR contains stringent charges including Sections 13, 16, 17, 18 of the UAPA, Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act and Section 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act,1984. He is also charged of various offences mentioned under the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

In September last year, the main charge sheet was filed against Pinjara Tod members and JNU students Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha and student activist Gulfisha Fatima.

Others who were charge-sheeted included former Congress Councilor Ishrat Jahan, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider and Shifa-Ur-Rehman, suspended AAP Councilor Tahir Hussain, activist Khalid Saifi, Shadab Ahmed, Tasleem Ahmed, Salim Malik, Mohd Salim Khan and Athar Khan.

Thereafter, a supplementary charge-sheet was filed in November against former JNU student leader Umar Khalid and JNU student Sharjeel Imam in a case related to the alleged larger conspiracy in the communal violence in northeast Delhi in February.

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