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Umar Khalid bail hearing: Prosecution draws parallels between Delhi riots and 9/11 attacks

Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad told Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat, "Just before 9/11 happened when all people were involved, they reached a particular place and took training."

Written by Anand Mohan J | New Delhi |
Updated: January 28, 2022 4:15:17 pm
Former JNU student Umar Khalid (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

The prosecution, while opposing former JNU student Umar Khalid’s bail in a northeast Delhi riots UAPA case on Friday, tried to draw parallels between the planning of the riots to that of the 9/11 terror attacks in the United States of America.

Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad told Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat that Umar’s lawyer, senior advocate Trideep Pais may have talked about the web series, Trial of the Chicago 7, during his arguments, however, “what was more relevant to be referred to was probably the incident of 9/11 which is very well reflected here.”

“Just before 9/11 happened when all people were involved, they reached a particular place and took training. A month prior to that, they moved to their respective positions. That is what is relevant in this case also,” Prasad told the court.

The SPP then went onto state that “the key conspirator never visited US.”

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“The person who was behind 9/11 never visited US. The conspiracy meeting happened in Malaysia. They were not WhatsApp chats available at the time. Today we have documents available that he was part of the group. There is foundation to show that violence is likely to happen,” Prasad told the court.

During the hearing, the SPP also told the court that Umar’s concern for mob lynching was selective and to buttress his arguments spoke about a childhood incident. “When I was a kid, I told my father I wanted a pet, which breed should I go for ? My father told me don’t bother for a breed and pick any pup from the road…My friend is very concerned about mob lynching…all mob lynching for him is selective. His concern is equally selective. I (Umar) claim myself to be atheist and not religious. That is the way he wants to portray himself,” Prasad told the court.

Prasad argued that the issue for the accused was “not CAA-NRC but the issue was you had to somehow embarrass the government and take steps which will reflect in international media.”

The prosecutor also dedicated a good portion of his arguments talking about JNU student, Sharjeel Imam arguing that Umar was his mentor. He told the court that both of them were “two sides of the same coin”.

The SPP spoke about Imam talking about the three issues of Babri Masjid demolition, Ayodhya and Triple Talaq in his speeches. Prasad conceded that Babri and Ayodhya may be religious issues but told the court that the “issue of Article 370 was not connected with religion. You are trying to make it an issue for whole of India and somehow want to colour it.”

“A lot of arguments were made that the investigation is communal.You yourself associate with people who do not believe in democracy, nationalism and those who do not believe in Court and Constitution,” Prasad told the court.

 

The prosecutor also told the court that the accused used to speak about saving the tricolour but during the secret meeting where the conspiracy of the riots were hatched, the “Constitution was missing but a book on the RSS can be seen.”

“Where Constitution is missing you have a RSS book. You won’t even keep Tricolour. You will keep a book on RSS,” Prasad told the court.

On the last date of hearing, the SPP told the court that all 25 sites, where protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act were held in Delhi, were picked because of their proximity to mosques, but were “purposefully given secular names”.

The arguments could not be concluded and the hearing will continue on January 29.

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