‘Speak Louder Against Injustice’: Umar’s Last Video Before Arrest

Umar Khalid was arrested in the wee hours of 14 September in connection with the Delhi riots case.

2 min read

“Agar aap is video ko dekh rahe hain... Iska matlab hai ki mujhe giraftar karliya gaya hai (If you are watching this video, it means I have been arrested).”

Anticipating arrest in the Delhi riots case, former JNU student leader and anti-CAA activist Umar Khalid recorded a video which was circulated by his friends and family during a press conference on Wednesday, 16 September.

Khalid was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) on Monday, 14 September. Making an appeal to the people of India, Khalid said:

“Anybody who speaks against the politics of hate, is being silenced through threats and arrests. They are scaring us but they are also trying to scare you. But don’t be afraid. Speak louder against injustice. Protest against all kinds of oppression.”
Umar Khalid

He said the Delhi Police has arrested many students and activists and has been attempting to arrest him too, since the last couple of months. “They keep playing edited clips of my speech on TV. In the 17-minute speech, I actually am talking about non-violence and Satyagraha. Now, Delhi Police is trying to coerce witnesses to give false statements against me.”

Khalid added, “Delhi Police is not arresting those who actually incited violence, in their presence, in front of TV cameras. Neither have they filed an FIR against them nor have they called them for questioning even once. On the other hand, anyone who was protesting against the government’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has been trapped in fabricated cases. There is no evidence against them.”

Why Was Khalid Arrested?

After interrogating Khalid for eleven hours on Sunday, 13 September, the Delhi Police arrested him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) post-midnight for his alleged role in the Delhi riots of February 2020.

Khalid had been named in several charge sheets and projected as the ‘mastermind’ and ‘conspirator’ of the riots. He came to Delhi from Kolkata in August when he was summoned by the Delhi Police special cell for the first time. During questioning, his phone had been seized by the police.

His father, national president of the Welfare Party of India, SQR Ilyas, tweeted on Sunday night, "My son Umar Khalid has been arrested tonight at 11:00 pm by Special Cell, Delhi Police under UAPA. Police was questioning him since 1:00 pm. He has been implicated in Delhi Riots.”

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