Indian Society And Civilians Demand Release Of Umar Khalid, Marks One Year Of Arrest In Delhi Riots

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Netizens and civilians demand the release of Umar Khalid, a student leader of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU.)

The 14th of September 2021 marked one year of the arrest of Mr. Umar Khali under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA.) Civilians of Delhi, organised a public meeting at the Press Club of India in New Delhi, and urged the Government of India to release the leader, who has been under police custody for a year. Umar Khalid was arrested under the UAPA Act in 2020 in connection with the Delhi riots in February 2020.

However, terming the arrest of the Student Leader an injustice, several civil society members like activists, journalists and parliamentarians, raised questions over human rights and democracy to question and oppose the Government.

The civilians demanded his release saying, the unjust imprisonment is destroying the bright future of Umar Khalid.

Mr. Manoj Kumar Jha, a Rashtriya Janata Dal Member of Parliament (MP) also raised his voice and said, “In these difficult times, you will not find heroes in films but behind bars for speaking against the government.” He criticised the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government, saying, “The Government could not deal with Shaheen Bagh, hence it resorted to demonising it.”

Senior advocate Mr. Prashant Bhushan said, “It is nearly two years since the anti-CAA protests began. It was an exemplary protest where political parties were not involved and it was the women and the public spirited youth who came forward. The Constitution was being explained to the children and the preamble was being read out. The protest was against a law which, by several factors, was against the Constitution as it is a discriminatory law.” He further said, “Despite videos, the country’s finest public spirited activists and Muslims were targeted. It is a conspiracy to frame innocent people and allow the guilty to go scot-free under the garb of an investigation.”

Umar Khalid, who was protesting against the Citizens Amendment Act (CAA) and National Registration Of Citizens (NRC) act introduced by the Government, was arrested. He was charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the UAPA Act.

He was also named as one of the main accused responsible for the deadly 2020 Delhi Riots over the CAA-NRC protest.

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