Umar Khalid alleges forced solitary confinement by jail authorities

The activist alleged that his request for adequate security had been distorted to extreme proportions by jail authorities who confined him to a cell

Umar Khalid

Tihar jail authorities won’t let me step out of my cell, complained human rights activist and former JNU student leader Umar Khalid to the Delhi Court on October 22, 2020.

Khalid made the complaint when he was virtually produced before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat of Karkardooma Court for a 30-day extension on his judicial custody. Accused of conspiring the Delhi riots, Khalid said that other people were barred from speaking to him as though he was in “solitary confinement.”

Khalid conceded that he had previously asked the Court for adequate security because of his “ideological differences and dissenting opinion” which the judiciary had duly ordered.

However, he argued that “security cannot be such that I am not allowed to step out of my cell.”

When he complained to the Jail Superintendent, Khalid was let out of his cell for 10 minutes only. Hearing this, the Court directed the official to appear for the virtual hearing on October 23 at 2 PM.

Further, at the behest of the activist’s lawyer, the Court warned jail authorities from punishing an undertrial for expressing his grievances.

Khalid was arrested on the intervening night of September 13 and September 14 under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by the Crime Branch, Special Cell of Delhi Police. The police alleged that Delhi riots were linked to the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests organised by Khalid.


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