‘Framed by Republic TV and CNN News18,” Umar Khalid tells court

Umar Khalid

Activist Umar Khalid told a Delhi court that he was framed in the northeast Delhi violence UAPA case by the media which played an edited video of his speech initially tweeted by BJP leader Amit Malviya.

“I have been framed by the press. Why did they leave other parts of speech? Quite apart from the fact that nothing happened on (February) 17th, you come upon this speech in March,” the young activist who is in jail since last year under draconian UAPA said to the court.

“Delhi police has nothing but Republic TV and CNN-News18 for the case”

Refuting the prosecution’s allegations, former JNU student leader and United Against Hate activist Umar Khalid’s lawyer Senior Advocate Trideep Pais said that the entire chargesheet filed by Delhi Police in the UAPA case is a fabrication and that the case against Umar is based on the video clips run by Republic TV and News 18 showing a truncated version of his speech delivered at Amravati, Maharashtra on February 17 last year, Live Law reported.

“Delhi police has nothing but Republic TV and CNN-News18 for the case”, said Pais.

He alleged that News18 omitted his crucial statement regarding the need for unity and harmony from the video telecasted by it.

As regards, Republic TV, Umar’s lawyer read out a reply letter from the pro-Hindu nationalist channel in which it stated that its clip was based on a tweet made by BJP member Amit Malviya. He read out to the court the reply given by Republic TV to a demand made by police under Section 91 CrPC for a copy of the video footage. “The footage was not recorded by our cameraperson. It was tweeted by Mr. Amit Malviya..”, the reply by Republic TV said.

“Your material is a YouTube video which is copied from a tweet. The journalist did not even have the responsibility to go there. It’s not a journalistic ethic. This is death of journalism,” Pais told court.

Pais who played the full clip of Khalid’s speech for the court, argued that in Umar’s speech, he was talking about democratic power. He did not call for violence/ violent methods.

Delhi police’s “fantastic theories”

As per the prosecution allegations, Umar Khalid had conspired with other accused on January 8, 2020 to create riots during President Trump’s visit to India.

Controverting the police allegations, Umar’s lawyer submitted that news about Trump’s visit was announced by the Ministry of External Affairs only on February 11, 2020.

“They tell you I knew about Trump’s visit on January 8 when the MEA did not know? This is a fantastic theory…Thanks to actual journalism the truth came out,” Pais said referring to a report published by The Quint.

“Beauty of FIR”

Pais also told the court that the Delhi police have registered a total of 715 FIRs and Umar was not named in a single FIR.

He told the court that the UAPA FIR is unnecessary and has been drafted and filed in order to target people selectively based on the opposition to Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Pais told the court that in each of the riot FIRs, a cognisable offence was disclosed, however, in the present FIR there is no such thing, reported Indian Express.

“It was an FIR was framed in such a broad manner in which you can give statements to frame people. That is the beauty of this FIR,” Pais told the court.

Umar’s lawyer submitted that the witnesses, in this case, have made contradictory statements to the police and the magistrate.

The court will continue the hearing on September 3.