Sharjeel Imam and Umar Khalid

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court on Monday adjourned till July 27 the hearing on the bail pleas of JNU student-activists Umar Khalid and Sharjeel Imam in connection with the alleged larger conspiracy behind the 2020 Delhi riots. After the special bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar was informed by Umar Khalid’s counsel that senior advocate Trideep Pais has contracted Covid-19, arguments on the bail pleas were posted for hearing on July 27.

Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam and President of Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni Association, Shifa-Ur-Rehman, moved their appeals to the high court challenging the trial court’s orders which denied them bail in the alleged conspiracy case. Imam and Khalid are facing charges in connection with the inflammatory speeches which allegedly fuelled the violence, as per the police. On April 7, a lower court denied bail to Rehman, who is also a member of the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC), who was arrested and charge-sheeted for his alleged involvement in the riots. The court said it will conclude the hearing of Umar Khalid first which will be followed by others.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat on March 24 dismissed the bail application of Khalid in the case in which he was arrested on September 13, 2020. Denying bail to the former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) scholar, the court had observed that the contention that he is a researcher and his bent of mind can be assessed from his doctoral thesis on welfare aspects of tribals of Jharkhand and other writings is not a relevant consideration while deciding the bail application.

Khalid and Sharjeel Imam are among the nearly dozen accused people involved in the alleged larger conspiracy case linked with the Delhi riots 2020, as per the Delhi Police. The riots broke out in the national capital in February 2020 as clashes between the anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and pro-CAA protesters took a violent turn. The violence, which coincided with then US President Donald Trump’s maiden trip to India, saw more than 50 people lose their lives while over 700 were injured.— IANS

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