Umar Khalid Arrested: What Delhi Riot Charge Sheets Say About Him
Delhi Police’s allegations against Umar include getting funds from PFI and an 8 January meeting ‘to plan riots’.
Anti-CAA protester and United Against Hate member Umar Khalid was arrested post midnight on 14 September under FIR 59, that deals with the alleged conspiracy behind the Delhi Riots of February 2020. The same day, he was sent to 10-day police custody by a Karkardooma court.
He has been charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and booked for sedition, murder, attempt to murder and several offences under the Indian Penal Code.
The Delhi Police Special Cell is yet to submit the charge sheet for FIR 59 and the deadline for it is 17 September. However, Umar Khalid’s name has surfaced several times in other charge sheets which project him as the mastermind of the riots.
Let’s take a look at what these charge sheets say specifically about Khalid and also read about the original FIR registered against him.
FIR 65 & 101: The ‘8 Jan Meeting’ Between Tahir Hussain, Khalid Saifi and Umar Khalid
Charge Sheet for FIR 65 registered under Dayalpur police station: “During investigation, it was also revealed that the accused Tahir Hussain was in touch with Khalid Saifi who is connected with Unite Against Hate Group. Tahir Hussain was also connected to Umar Khalid through Khalid Saifi. Khalid Saifi had arranged Tahir’s meeting with Umar Khalid on 08.01.2020 at Saheen Bagh. In that meeting, it was decided to have a big blast so that the Central Govt. could be shaken on the issue of CAA/NRC and so as to defame the country in the international arena. In the meeting, Umar Khalid had assured not to bother about the fund as PFI organization would also be ready to provide fund and logistics for these riots. These riots were planned to be happened during or prior to the visit of US President Donald Trump in the month of February, 2020 .”
The 8 January meeting was also mentioned in another FIR filed at Khajuri Khas police station.
Charge Sheet for FIR 101 registered at Delhi Police crime branch: “Further from disclosure of accused Tahir Hussain, it was also revealed that he planned these riots with Khalid Saifi and Umar Khalid in their meeting on 8 January 2020 at Shaheen Bagh.”
However, The Quint found out that the first references to a possible Trump visit to India was only on 13 January, five days after this alleged meeting took place. We went through these charge sheets as well as media reports, government press releases and spoke to criminal lawyers to understand the timeline and figure out how Tahir, Khalid and Umar could have known about Trump’s visit on 8 January itself. The entire story can be read here.
FIR 101: A Flow Chart Linking Tahir Hussain to Umar Khalid
Charge sheet for FIR 101 registered with crime branch, has a flowchart where Umar Khalid is among the 21 people who have been named, along with their phone numbers.
The charge sheet reads: “A flow chart showing Tahir Hussain speaking and connecting with a host of other co-conspirators has been prepared and shown below. All of these persons, along with Tahir Hussain, have hatched a well planed and deep rooted conspiracy to precipitate and cause widespread riots in north east Delhi.”
His lawyer has said all allegations against Umar are false.
FIR 50: A Private Meet in January and Umar Khalid Arranging Funds from PFI
The supplementary charge sheet under FIR 50 filed at Jafrabad police station reads:
“A public witness Y has told the police under Section 161 and 164 of the CrPC that in the last week of January 2020 Umar Khalid had participated in private meeting at the office near protest site Old Bus Stand, Seelampur and in the meeting the present applicant and her associates were present there. Umar Khalid told them that only speeches were not sufficient now Govt. is against Muslim "Khoon Bahana Padega Aise Nahi Chalega Chakka Jaam Hi Akhri Rasta Hai Hame Sarkar Ko Ghutno Ke Bal Laana Hi Hoga Sanghiyon Ki Sarkar Aise Nahi Maanegi,"
Important to note that while the charge sheets refers to the witness as her here, in two other places in the FIR the witness is referred to as a man.
The Quint reached out to Khalid’s lawyer Trideep Pais, who said, “This reference to and allegation against Umar Khalid is completely false, fabricated and procured illegally through duress.”
The charge sheet, in an attached disclosure statement of anti-CAA Activist Gulfisha Fatima, also reads: “Umar Khalid used to help to organise protests financially as well. He used to say that we should not worry about money, I will get money from PFI.
The Quint reached out to Gulfisha’s laywer Mehmood Pracha who said the statement was false. “It is absolutely false and baseless. It is the police’s agenda to further their narrative on the basis of what those in the government want,” he said. Pracha’s name also features in Gulfisha’s statement. Also experts have said that statements recorded to the police hold no evidentiary value against any accused under Section 25 of the Evidence Act.
More about this story can be read here.
The Original FIR Against Umar Khalid: ‘Provocative Speeches’
FIR 59, registered with Delhi Police Special Cell, which later developed into the ‘conspiracy’ FIR, was registered against Umar Khalid on 6 March.
According to this FIR, ASI Arvind Kumar said that an informer told him that the Northeast Delhi riots were part of a “premeditated conspiracy” allegedly hatched by Khalid, one Danish, and two others associated with different organisations.
That FIR states: “Khalid allegedly gave provocative speeches at two different places and appealed to the citizens to come out on the streets and block the roads during the visit of US President Donald Trump to spread propaganda at the international level about how minorities in India are being persecuted.”
As the charge sheet under this FIR is yet to be filed, it remains unclear what these two speeches are. However one speech made by Umar Khalid in Maharashtra’s Amravati was first shared by BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya on 17 February and then repeated by Home Minister minister Amit Shah on 11 March in parliament where he accused Khalid of instigating violence by appealing to people to protest. However, the clip the BJP circulated contained only the last 40 seconds of Khalid’s speech. The speech that the Delhi Police and Amit Shah are referring to, is one that he made in Amravati on 20 February.
UAH issued a statement regarding Amit Shah’s allegations, saying that in his speech, Khalid stressed on the need to use non-violent means. In another part of the speech, he said: “We won’t respond to violence with violence. We won’t respond to hate with hate. If they spread hate, we will respond to it with love. If they thrash us with lathis, we keep holding the tricolour. If they fire bullets, then we will hold the Constitution. If they jail us, we will go to jail singing, “Saare Jahaan Se Acha Hindustan Hamara”.
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