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2020 Delhi riots: Court rejects bail plea of Umar Khalid in ‘larger conspiracy’ case

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New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) A Delhi court on Tuesday denied bail to activist and former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader Umar Khalid, in the “larger conspiracy” case related to the 2020 riots.Khalid’s bail application was based on arguments of delay in proceedings and parity with other accused who had been granted bail.Special Judge Sameer Bajpai of Karkardooma Courts had reserved the order on the bail application on May 13 before delivering the rejection on Tuesday.Khalid’s advocate Trideep Pais had last month challenged the Delhi Police’s repeated mention of his client’s name in the charge sheet in the “larger conspiracy” case, questioning “whether repetition could turn a falsehood into truth”.Opposing the “media trial”, citing instances of anchors reading from the charge sheet on news channels, he had stressed the need for a thorough examination of witnesses and evidence to determine the validity of the terror charges against Khalid. He also criticised the prosecution for “lack of substantial evidence”.He had also underlined the chilling effect of anti-terror laws on freedom of expression, saying that individuals who speak out are being silenced under the pretext of national security.The Delhi Police had objected to granting bail to Khalid, alleging that he has a history of manipulating social media narratives to influence bail hearings.Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad had informed the court that Khalid engaged with actors and politicians to amplify his narrative to create public sympathy, framing it as part of a “larger conspiracy”.–IANSspr/vd

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