“Just two days ago, Umar Khalid was taken into custody and booked under UAPA and several other criminal sections, thereby adding to the list of anti-CAA protestors languishing behind bars. He is among the soaring young voices who have risen up in defense of the Constitution, at the service of truth, and are today prisoners of conscience”, a group of civil society activists on Wednesday held a press conference on Wednesday condemning the Delhi Police’s biased probe into northeast Delhi riots and demanded an immediate end to it.
The press conference was attended by former member of the Planning Commission Syeda Hameed; Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan; Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation CPI (ML), leader Kavita Krishnan; senior journalist Pamela Philipose; and former Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) president Nandita Narain.
Those present at the gathering, including Umar Khalid’s mother Sabiha Khanum and arrested United Against Hate activist Khalid Saifi’s wife Nargis Saifi, wore masks with faces of arrested student activists.
Activists said that in the last few months they have collectively witnessed the same dereliction of duty by the police.
“We all wanted a fair investigation into the Delhi violence, but what the Delhi police has resorted to is a sinister plan to brand, target, frame and arrest all those voices that dared to speak up against the unconstitutional and immoral Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Coupled with the National Register for Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), the CAA was designed to forever fracture the idea of India,” read the statement released by activists against “brazenness” of Delhi Police investigation in the Delhi riot.
While addressing the press, Syeda Hameed told media that the objective of the Modi government is to target Muslims along with other marginalized and deprived sections in the country.
At the Press conference, speech by Umar Khalid recorded just prior to his arrest being played.
“The real perpetrators of the riots are not being caught or even questioned..police has been trying to arrest me. I want to tell you all – don’t be scared; need to fight injustice,” Khalid said in the speech.
“I gave a 17-minute speech out of which 20-30 seconds is being made viral stating that I conspired in the north-east Delhi riots. The part, where I had talked about satyagraha, is nowhere to be heard. The ones who spoke up are being put behind bars but my message to everyone is that one must not be scared and speak out against injustice,” added Khalid.