NEW DELHI--Seemingly toeing the Modi government’s line, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government has given the go-ahead to prosecute Umar Khalid and Sharjeel Imam under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for their alleged involvement in the February communal riots in Northeast Delhi.
“The Law Department has given its legal opinion after due diligence to the Home Department of the Delhi government. The elected government has no role to play in this. The Delhi government has not stopped prosecution in any case in the last five years, including those pertaining to AAP MLAs and party leaders,” said a spokesman for the AAP government.
Khalid, a former JNU student, was arrested under the UAPA on September 14 while Imam was arrested on August 25.
The charge sheet was filed against 15 people under the UAPA for allegedly hatching a conspiracy for Delhi riots. Those charge-sheeted included AAP councilor Tahir Hussain, Pinjra Tod’s Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, former DU student Gulfisha, and Jamia students Meeran Haider, Asif Tanha and Safoora Zargar.
All of them have been charged under sections153A and 124A of the IPC. Under the rules, the state government needs to grant sanction to the police for prosecuting any accused under Section 196 of the CrPC (offences against the state and for criminal conspiracy to commit such offence). Police have not ruled adding the names of Khalid and Imam in the supplementary charge sheet.
MHA sources have also confirmed that the Delhi government has given the sanction to prosecute Khalid and Imam under section 13 of the UAPA .
“We had applied for the sanction against Faizan Khan, Khalid and Imam a month ago. The go-ahead came just 15 days ago,” said an official
Khan, who is accused of procuring a SIM card on a fake ID and providing it to Tanha, was granted bail by a court on October 24.
“All the accused were booked under sections 13, 16, 17 and 18 of the UAPA. Sanction from the Centre is mandatory to prosecute people booked under section 13. The state government and the MHA are authorized to grant the sanction under rule,” said an official.