“Custody like solitary confinement’: Umar Khalid tells court; court summons jail superintendent

Former JNU student leader and United Against Hate activist Umar Khalid, who is under custody in a UAPA case for an alleged conspiracy behind Delhi riots, told Delhi Court on Thursday about his custody in Tihar jail and said that the jail authorities were not allowing him to step out of his cell.

“I need security but security cannot be that I cannot step out at all. This is like a punishment, why am I been given this punishment? This is like solitary confinement,” Khalid said.

When Khalid was virtually produced before Justice Amitabh Rawat, of Karkardooma Court, for the extension of remand, he told the judge that nobody was allowed to speak to him.

The arrested student activist further said that he is not feeling well and as a result of being confined to his cell, is feeling both physically and mentally discomfited.

He told the court that when he complained to the Jail Superintendent, he was allowed to go out of his cell for 10 mins but was asked to be inside again.

Following this, the Court directed the Jail Superintendent to be present tomorrow for the virtual hearing.

Khalid complained to the court that he was not allowed to speak directly to the judge during video conferencing hearings by the jail staff.

He said: “I would also like you to tell the jail staff to unmute me. Because when they wanted to speak to you they were not unmuting me and said that unless and until a judge asks you to unmute, we can’t allow.”

The judge told the jail authorities “If an undertrial expresses a grievance, then you don’t punish him” while adjourning the matter till Friday.