The Delhi Police Crime Branch questioned former JNU student Umar Khalid for over four hours in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots on Wednesday. Khalid has already been booked under the stringent UAPA along with Jamia media coordinator Safoora Zargar and RJD’s youth wing president Meeran Haider. He is accused of instigating the riots.
Last month, he was summoned by the Special Cell, which questioned him for three hours and also seized his phone.
On Tuesday, the Crime Branch sent him a notice and asked him to come for questioning the next day. At 11.30 am on Wednesday, he arrived at their Sunlight Colony office for questioning, accompanied by his family members and lawyer, said police.
“Based on data retrieved from a few suspects, we are verifying a few points. We asked him about his whereabouts during the riots,” said a senior police officer.
Meanwhile, Khalid wrote to the Commissioner of Delhi Police, S N Shrivastava, on Tuesday regarding alleged “acts of fabrication and attempts at false implication” by the Special Cell’s investigating officers.
In a three-page letter, Khalid claimed an acquaintance met him on August 29 and told him that the Special Cell officers gave him a pre-drafted statement against Khalid, which read: “A meeting took place on December 26, 2019 at Indian Social Institute Lodhi Road. Jamia Coordination Committee, JNU, DU students and members of UAH (United Against Hate) were present there. I got to know that in different Muslim majority regions like Shaheen Bagh… protests have to be set up. And in these protests, women and children will be involved so that police are unable to take action. Umar Khalid said that at the opportune moment, we will organise a chakka jam in Delhi so that the Government is forced to withdraw this law (CAA). On December 28, Delhi Protest Support Group was created on Whatsapp.”
According to Khalid’s letter, when the man objected to signing the statement, officers threatened to change the statement and add that the man was also involved in planning a roadblock. The man told the police that this was not his statement.
“They (officers) brought another form, which looked like an arrest memo with UAPA written over it. Showing him this form, they told him that he had to make a choice — he could either comply and go ahead with the pre-drafted statement without any deletions or he could sign the other form. He felt compelled to go ahead with the statement,” claimed Khalid in the letter.
He also wrote: “Police claim to have obtained a confession from (Tahir) Hussain, where he says that he met Khalid Saifi and me at PFI office in Shaheen Bagh on January 8. This is absolutely false. I have never met Hussain or been to the PFI office. When I was questioned by Cell on July 31, I was not even asked a single question about meeting Hussain.”
The letter was sent to CP’s office and the Delhi Police PRO’s office. Officers from both offices refused to comment. A senior police officer said, “The letter is with Crime Branch and will be forwarded to the investigating teams and seniors.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines