A Delhi court on Tuesday extended the judicial custody of all the accused, including former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Umar Khalid, in the Delhi riots ‘conspiracy’ case till March 1.
All the 18 accused were produced before Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Amitabh Rawat of Karkardooma Court through video conferencing at noon at the end of their 14-day period in jail.
Besides Khalid, others included Sharjeel Imam, Tahir Hussain, Safoora Zargar, Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, Khalid Saifi, Ishrat Jahan, Meeran Haider, Gulfisha, Shafa-ur-Rehman, Asif Iqbal, Shadab Ahmed, Tasleem Ahmed, Saleem Malik, Saleem Khan, Athar Khan and Faizan Khan.
The case pertains to the alleged ‘conspiracy’ to incite the riots, which had left 53 people dead and 748 people injured in North-East Delhi in February last year. In September, Delhi Police had filed a voluminous chargesheet against the accused under the Unlawful Assembly (Prevention) Act, Indian Penbal Code, Arms Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
The police have claimed that the clashes were part of a “pre-planned and premeditated conspiracy”. The chargesheet in the case showed screenshots of purported WhatsApp messages exchanged by student activists, as well as their Facebook posts, to establish their complicity in the alleged conspiracy.
In the last hearing in which the accused persons were physically produced before the court for the first time, scores of security personnel had cordoned off the courtroom.