The second supplementary charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police in February 2020 riot case has made some sensational disclosure. It said that suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain, former JNU student Umar Khalid and activist Khalid Saifi fuellled the violence that took place in northeast Delhi.
According to witness Rahul Kasana, driver of Tahir Hussain, he corroborated the fact that a meeting of minds happened before the riots. He claimed that Tahir had met Umar Khalid and Saifi at Shaheen Bagh on January 8, 2020. He said that Tahir Hussain provided fake bills of manpower supply to launder money for fuelling the riots, according to police. The main charge sheet was filed in June against Hussain and others in the case.
Kasana said that Tahir used to visit CAA protest sites and distribute money. On January 8, he met Umar and Saifi for an hour at Shaheen Bagh. After 1-2 days, Tahir sent his driver to one of his Noida friends’ residence with RTGS paper.
The document said that Tahir accepted that he met Saifi and later came in contact of Umar. Khalid told him that “bada danga karenge (we will organize large-scale riot)”. Khalid told him that “we remained silent on (Article) 370 and Ram Mandir. But will ensure CAA is rolled back at any cost”.
Umar Khalid in his confession said that when the CAA was cleared by the Parliament, he protested at the Jantar Mantar but it didn’t yield results. The former JNU student then planned violence with Saifi and Tahir. On February 16 and 17, Khalid said that they met to discuss the strategy. They planned riot as this was the only way to create pressure on the government.
According to Khalid, he took part in protests at 23-24 sites and later visited Amravati in Maharashtra where he asked the people to hit the road when US President Donald Trump visits the country in a bid to show “our strength and mount pressure on the government”.
Umar Khalid denies role
However, Khalid has now told a city court that he did not make any such admission before the investigators and had refused to sign the said disclosure statement. Notably, Khalid was one of the students arrested in the JNU sedition case for raising anti-national slogans at an event organised in the memory of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in the varsity campus in 2016.
Earlier on January 5, the court had taken cognisance of the supplementary charge sheet filed against Khalid in the case related to the communal violence in Khajuri Khas area last year. The court said that there was sufficient material on record to proceed against Khalid.
The court said a witness statement was sufficient to show that during the relevant time, Khalid was allegedly in contact with Hussain, accused as the main conspirator who had funded the communal riots and instigated the mob from his house to rob the people and burn down properties. It noted that the prosecution has alleged in the charge sheet that Khalid was an active participant in the criminal conspiracy to instigate communal riots in various parts of Delhi.
There was reasonable ground to prima facie show that former JNU student leader Umar Khalid, suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain and others conspired on north-east Delhi riots last year, the court said while taking cognisance of the supplementary charge sheet filed in the case.
Khalid was arrested in the case in October, 2020, and was in judicial custody. He was arrested in September last year in a separate case related to the conspiracy in the riots and booked under the stringent anti-terror law — Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Communal violence had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 last year after clashes between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.