The Echo of Hearsay | Part Three

Umar Khalid's bail hearing: The state’s portrayal of a social contract as conspiracy

The anti-CAA protests took the form of renewed contracts of solidarity among citizens. The prosecution would have us believe this was a conspiracy.
ILLUSTRATION BY SHAGNIK CHAKRABORTY
The anti-CAA protests took the form of renewed contracts of solidarity among citizens. The prosecution would have us believe this was a conspiracy.
ILLUSTRATION BY SHAGNIK CHAKRABORTY

On 24 March 2022, Delhi’s Karkardooma court ordered that Umar Khalid’s application for bail be dismissed. Khalid is a social activist and former student leader at Jawaharlal Nehru University who actively participated in protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in the winter of 2019–20. The Delhi Police charged him and several others in connection to an alleged conspiracy behind the communal violence that broke out in the capital in February 2020. According to government estimates, 53 people died in the violence, 38 of whom were Muslim. More than five hundred people were injured. 

The Delhi Police arrested Khalid in September 2020, under FIR 59, and charged him under several sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, including terrorist activity and conspiracy, as well as provisions of the Indian Penal Code, including murder, rioting, sedition, conspiracy and promoting communal enmity. Khalid was also formally arrested in October 2020, under FIR 101, but was granted bail in this case in April 2021.

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    Shuddhabrata Sengupta is an artist with the Raqs Media Collective.

    Keywords: Umar Khalid Delhi Police Delhi Violence Anti-CAA Protests Yati Narsinghanand The Echo of Hearsay
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