Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Anti-CAA protest was against ‘unjust law’: Umar Khalid tells Delhi HC

Jailed human rights activist activist Umar Khalid on Monday told the Delhi High Court that the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) did not instil fear and insecurity among the people and the court should not “fall into the trap of interpreting everything as terror.”

He was seeking bail in the main conspiracy case of the 2020 Delhi violence case.

Khalid told this the HC through senior advocate Trideep Pais, after the court asked him if the anti-CAA protest instilled fear among the masses.

“So your case is that there was a sense of insecurity instilled in the public but you had nothing to do with it?” Justice Mridul asked.

“We should not fall in the trap of interpreting everything as terror… If that is the case, every criminal act will become terror,” Khalid responded.

The United Against Hate activist, while seeking bail, told the court that the anti-CAA protests were against an “unjust law” by persons who want to be a part of the country and it was in no way an act against the sovereignty of the country.

“Several of the acts or instances cited against me (Khalid) were not even qualifying (as) terror. They were just either protests or meetings. They did not qualify even as terror or conspiracy. I did not take part in any violent protest, nor is there any material to show my participation in the violent protest,” submitted Khalid.

The court will continue to hear the matter on Tuesday.

Khalid, along with several Muslim activists, politicians and students, has been booked under the draconian anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, or UAPA, in the case for being the alleged “mastermind” of the February 2020 violence.

The anti-Muslim pogrom was triggered in parts of north-east Delhi after Hindutva mobs unleashed violence against anti-CAA protesters..

The United Nations, the European Union, the Amnesty International, the Human Rights Watch and Opposition leaders in India have been demanding the immediate release of rights activists and Muslim leaders who were arrested and framed in the UAPA case.


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