Delhi riots: Court defers order on bail plea of United Against Hate founder

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A court here on Tuesday deferred the order on the bail application filed by United Against Hate campaign founder, Khalid Saifi, who is allegedly involved in a larger conspiracy case linked to the 2020 Delhi riots.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat will now pronounce the order on March 24.

Earlier, the bench had, on February 16, reserved its order after hearing the submissions of Saifi’s counsel, senior advocate Rebecca John, who argued that the prosecution had built its argument by taking messages in isolation.

Saifi, along with several others, has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly being the “masterminds” of the riots followed by the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

“Why is the prosecution attempting to communalise the narrative? Don’t lay the narrative on one community. Don’t brush aside the actions of Delhi Police, that too are apparent from reading this WhatsApp group,” John argued in the last hearing.

“The protest was not communal except that the persons who were against the Bill belonged to a particular community,” she argued.

Saifi has been accused in three cases related to the riots, which claimed 53 lives and left 700 injured, but granted bail in two.

Besides Saifi, Sharjeel Imam, Tahir Hussain, Safoora Zargar, Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, Umar Khalid, Ishrat Jahan are the other accused in the larger conspiracy case. Others include Meeran Haider, Gulfisha, Shafa-ur-Rehman, Asif Iqbal, Shadab Ahmed, Tasleem Ahmed, Saleem Malik, Saleem Khan, Athar Khan and Faizan Khan.

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