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Umar Khalid bail: Prosecution alleges Pinjra Tod and others were included to give protests appear secular

He submitted that the protest sites, including Shaheen Bagh were all organised and hence cannot be said to be organic as was being largely claimed

Sabrangindia 24 Jan 2022

 bail hearing
Image Courtesy:indiatoday.in

Dr Umar Khalid’s bail hearing continued today before Additional Sessions Judge, Amitabh Rawat of Karkardooma Shahdara Court, Delhi, as the prosecution made submissions that protest sites across Delhi were indeed organised and were not at all organic. Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad submitted that women were used as a front in these protests to avoid police clashes and Pinjra Tod was included to give the protests a secular colour.

Khalid, activist and former student of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has been in prison since  September 2020. He has been booked under sections 13 (Punishment for unlawful activities), 16 (Punishment for terrorist act), 17 (Punishment for raising funds for terrorist act) and 18 (Punishment for conspiracy) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 in the conspiracy case.

Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad appearing for Delhi Police took off from where he concluded at the previous hearing which was held on January 11. He began his  argument by displaying a Whatsapp message sent on the Delhi Protest Support Group (DPSG), which according to him is a group central to the chargesheet in the conspiracy case and the case as a whole. He pointed out that after the violence broke out in February 2020, several members were added to the group and eventually members decided to switch to Signal messaging app by dismantling the Whatsapp group.

Protests were not organic

This was the main argument made by SPP Prasad at the hearing today and made submissions to support the same. He stated that firstly, the FIR was lodged based on information received by the police that the riots were not spontaneous and were in fact pre planned and that a conspiracy was hatched by Umar Khalid and his associates. “Khalid gave a provocative speech appealing to the minority community to block roads during Donald Trump’s visit to India. Idea was to create a propaganda at international level to show that minority is tortured in India,” he submitted.

SPP Prasad stated that people have the right to protest but the manner of protesting matters. He insisted that Khalid and other accused were conspirators behind the riots as they mobilised people for sit-in protests, arranged for disruptive chakka jam, targeted government property for destruction and sought to increase the number of sit-in protests across the country.

He further claimed that Popular front of India (PFI), Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JHI) were the “hidden elements” of these protests and that members of the Jamia Coo-ordination Committee (JCC) liaised with members of these organisations. He stated that Jamia Awareness Campaign Team (JACT) was formed under the aegis of JCC and was formed under the direction of Umar Khalid and Nadeem Khan. The purpose was to spread misinformation and to incite the minority against CAA-NRC. He further stated that local offices were set up at all the protest sites in Delhi and the sites were monitored by JCC.

He submitted that protest sites were made women-centric to avoid police clashes and were organised only in Muslim dominated areas, funds were collected, legal teams were kept ready to help detainees and regular meetings were held to take stock of the developments.

He stated that 25 protest sites were created under DPSG and each of these sites were given a nomenclature to give them a secular colour while the real names of these sites are related to the  mosques in the vicinity of which they were set up. He gave numerous such examples by stating that Shaheen Bagh was actually Habeeb Masjid protes site; Chandbagh site was actually Syed Chandbaba Masjid site; Sriram Colony site was actually Noorani Masjid.

The Judge questioned “You call these sites on the basis of masjids. Is it because it is called that or is it because of the vicinity to the masjid?”  SPP Prasad responded that he will come to it later and demonstrate how it is relevant.

Secrecy of Whatsapp groups

It was also submitted that SIM cards were exclusively purchased for being part of the many Whatsapp groups and these cards were purchased  based on fake identities. As per the Delhi Police, the first phase of the riots took place between December 13 and December 20, 2019 where more than 100 police personnel and public officials were injured. This is the period when Shaheen Bagh sit-in protests began and the police stormed the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia University injuring several students and staff of the University. Police had barged into the campus, fired tear gas shells in closed spaces like the library and destroyed property on campus.

Why North East delhi was “chosen”

He stated that the pattern of riots of December and of February was similar, only the intensity was more in February 2020. “Almost every person involved in the December riots surfaced in the 2020 riots,” he said. “Difference between the two phases was that the Shaheen Bagh and Jamia areas were left out. Women were put to the forefront of riots, to make it look like a rightful dissent in 2020,” he added. He said  that Sharjeel Imam’s speech made this very clear.

The Judge pointed out that Imam’s speech indicates that he has an ideology of his  own and he does not even align with the likes of Mahatma Gandhi and others so “how does he align with others?” The SPP insisted that he will demonstrate the same as he goes through material on record.

SPP Prasad claimed that North East Delhi was selected as an area to commit riots for its “unique geo-economic conditions for mass-scale mobilisation and violence.” He stated that Pinjra Tod and DPSG were included in February for tactical reasons to get away with the stigma of becoming an overtly communal campaign. Pinjra Tod gave an effective female shield to give legitimacy to sit in protest.”

“Umar Khalid is not an atheist”

SPP prasad submitted that Khalid claims publicly that he is an atheist but that only for showing to the public. He asked, “If he is an atheist why did he join the WhatsApp group called Muslim Students of JNU (MSJ)?”

Meetings and speeches

The Delhi Police submitted that Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi met with councilor Tahir Hussain for he funded the riots with his “black money”.

Further, the meeting of January 23, 2020, between Khalid and Pinjra Tod members was to pass directions to gear up for riots and for stockpiling of weapons for the same. He said that on the same date, Sharjeel Imam gave his speech in Bihar which was on the same lines and that this is no coincidence. “Plan here was to mobilise protest, go to next level of chakka jam and riots,” he concluded.

The arguments will continue on January 28.

Related:

Umar Khalid bail: He has no argument on merits, State submits before court
Never-the-less, they persisted: Human Rights Heroes of 2021
Umar Khalid bail hearing: Counsel points out “cooked up” witnesses

Umar Khalid bail: Prosecution alleges Pinjra Tod and others were included to give protests appear secular

He submitted that the protest sites, including Shaheen Bagh were all organised and hence cannot be said to be organic as was being largely claimed

 bail hearing
Image Courtesy:indiatoday.in

Dr Umar Khalid’s bail hearing continued today before Additional Sessions Judge, Amitabh Rawat of Karkardooma Shahdara Court, Delhi, as the prosecution made submissions that protest sites across Delhi were indeed organised and were not at all organic. Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad submitted that women were used as a front in these protests to avoid police clashes and Pinjra Tod was included to give the protests a secular colour.

Khalid, activist and former student of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has been in prison since  September 2020. He has been booked under sections 13 (Punishment for unlawful activities), 16 (Punishment for terrorist act), 17 (Punishment for raising funds for terrorist act) and 18 (Punishment for conspiracy) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 in the conspiracy case.

Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad appearing for Delhi Police took off from where he concluded at the previous hearing which was held on January 11. He began his  argument by displaying a Whatsapp message sent on the Delhi Protest Support Group (DPSG), which according to him is a group central to the chargesheet in the conspiracy case and the case as a whole. He pointed out that after the violence broke out in February 2020, several members were added to the group and eventually members decided to switch to Signal messaging app by dismantling the Whatsapp group.

Protests were not organic

This was the main argument made by SPP Prasad at the hearing today and made submissions to support the same. He stated that firstly, the FIR was lodged based on information received by the police that the riots were not spontaneous and were in fact pre planned and that a conspiracy was hatched by Umar Khalid and his associates. “Khalid gave a provocative speech appealing to the minority community to block roads during Donald Trump’s visit to India. Idea was to create a propaganda at international level to show that minority is tortured in India,” he submitted.

SPP Prasad stated that people have the right to protest but the manner of protesting matters. He insisted that Khalid and other accused were conspirators behind the riots as they mobilised people for sit-in protests, arranged for disruptive chakka jam, targeted government property for destruction and sought to increase the number of sit-in protests across the country.

He further claimed that Popular front of India (PFI), Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JHI) were the “hidden elements” of these protests and that members of the Jamia Coo-ordination Committee (JCC) liaised with members of these organisations. He stated that Jamia Awareness Campaign Team (JACT) was formed under the aegis of JCC and was formed under the direction of Umar Khalid and Nadeem Khan. The purpose was to spread misinformation and to incite the minority against CAA-NRC. He further stated that local offices were set up at all the protest sites in Delhi and the sites were monitored by JCC.

He submitted that protest sites were made women-centric to avoid police clashes and were organised only in Muslim dominated areas, funds were collected, legal teams were kept ready to help detainees and regular meetings were held to take stock of the developments.

He stated that 25 protest sites were created under DPSG and each of these sites were given a nomenclature to give them a secular colour while the real names of these sites are related to the  mosques in the vicinity of which they were set up. He gave numerous such examples by stating that Shaheen Bagh was actually Habeeb Masjid protes site; Chandbagh site was actually Syed Chandbaba Masjid site; Sriram Colony site was actually Noorani Masjid.

The Judge questioned “You call these sites on the basis of masjids. Is it because it is called that or is it because of the vicinity to the masjid?”  SPP Prasad responded that he will come to it later and demonstrate how it is relevant.

Secrecy of Whatsapp groups

It was also submitted that SIM cards were exclusively purchased for being part of the many Whatsapp groups and these cards were purchased  based on fake identities. As per the Delhi Police, the first phase of the riots took place between December 13 and December 20, 2019 where more than 100 police personnel and public officials were injured. This is the period when Shaheen Bagh sit-in protests began and the police stormed the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia University injuring several students and staff of the University. Police had barged into the campus, fired tear gas shells in closed spaces like the library and destroyed property on campus.

Why North East delhi was “chosen”

He stated that the pattern of riots of December and of February was similar, only the intensity was more in February 2020. “Almost every person involved in the December riots surfaced in the 2020 riots,” he said. “Difference between the two phases was that the Shaheen Bagh and Jamia areas were left out. Women were put to the forefront of riots, to make it look like a rightful dissent in 2020,” he added. He said  that Sharjeel Imam’s speech made this very clear.

The Judge pointed out that Imam’s speech indicates that he has an ideology of his  own and he does not even align with the likes of Mahatma Gandhi and others so “how does he align with others?” The SPP insisted that he will demonstrate the same as he goes through material on record.

SPP Prasad claimed that North East Delhi was selected as an area to commit riots for its “unique geo-economic conditions for mass-scale mobilisation and violence.” He stated that Pinjra Tod and DPSG were included in February for tactical reasons to get away with the stigma of becoming an overtly communal campaign. Pinjra Tod gave an effective female shield to give legitimacy to sit in protest.”

“Umar Khalid is not an atheist”

SPP prasad submitted that Khalid claims publicly that he is an atheist but that only for showing to the public. He asked, “If he is an atheist why did he join the WhatsApp group called Muslim Students of JNU (MSJ)?”

Meetings and speeches

The Delhi Police submitted that Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi met with councilor Tahir Hussain for he funded the riots with his “black money”.

Further, the meeting of January 23, 2020, between Khalid and Pinjra Tod members was to pass directions to gear up for riots and for stockpiling of weapons for the same. He said that on the same date, Sharjeel Imam gave his speech in Bihar which was on the same lines and that this is no coincidence. “Plan here was to mobilise protest, go to next level of chakka jam and riots,” he concluded.

The arguments will continue on January 28.

Related:

Umar Khalid bail: He has no argument on merits, State submits before court
Never-the-less, they persisted: Human Rights Heroes of 2021
Umar Khalid bail hearing: Counsel points out “cooked up” witnesses

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