NEW DELHI—More than 200 national and international scholars, academicians and artistes, from around the world, including Noam Chomsky, Salman rushdie Mira Nair, Aruna Roy, Medha Patkar and Rajmohan Gandhi have demanded release of activist and former JNU student Umar Khalid who has been arrested in connection with Delhi riots in February this year.
In a statement issued on Thursday, they said, “We have watched the events unfolding in India. We stand in solidarity and outrage, with the brave young scholar and activist Umar Khalid, arrested in new Delhi on September 14, 2020, under fabricated charges of engineering the riots in February 2020”.
Raising the question of “what was Umar Khalid’s crime?”, the statement said, “That he used the passion of his commitment to his country, marshalled his education and his voice to join the movement for equal citizenship, against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA); this law introduced religion as a criterion for citizenship, and has no place in a secular nation”.
Umar Khalid sent to jail till October 22
Umar Khalid, who has been charged with sedition, conspiracy to murder and under provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), was on Thursday sent to prison till October 22. Before being sent to jail, he was allowed by the court to meet his parents.
His father Dr. SQR Ilyas tweeted that “Umar’s mother, younger sister Sarah and I met him at Special Cell today for 40 minutes before his judicial custody. Umar was cheerful, healthy and comfortable. He conveyed his regards and greetings to all his well-wishers and supporters”.
Khalid was in police custody for 10 days before being sent to jail. Khalid did not sign any papers during his police custody.
Sharjeel Imam: Chargesheet against him cites books he read, his M.Phil thesis on Partition
The chargesheet filed by Delhi police in a case of sedition registered against arrested JNU scholar Sharjeel Imam has cited his M.Phil thesis on communal violence during Partition and accused him of using Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s book, ‘Why I am a Hindu’ to put up a “secular” front. The chargesheet says that the Imam not only “discriminates between Hindus and Muslims” but has also tried to “draw a wedge between Hindu community by constantly referring to Brahminical conscience”. He is accused in seven cases, including a UAPA case stemming from a Special Cell investigation into the Northeast Delhi riots. He was arrested on January 28. He is still in judicial custody. The chargesheet running into 600 pages, carries four of Imam’s anti-CAA speeches.
(The story has been written by Syed Ali Ahmed)