Former JNU student leader Umar Kahlid on Saturday while appearing before a Delhi court claimed that a “vicious” media campaign was carried out against him by various newspapers and TV channels regarding his alleged role in the northeast Delhi riots.
Media platforms carried reports about Khalid on the basis of the supplementary chargesheet filed in a case pertaining to the February riots, even though Khalid did not have a copy of the chargesheet and cannot defend himself during the “media trial” or understand the narrative being built, an application filed by Umar Khalid’s counsel stated.
The application further sought that a soft copy of the chargesheet be provided to Khalid on Saturday though a date has been fixed for hearing on December 2 regarding suppling copies of the chargesheet to the accused. Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat directed the court staff to provide a soft copy of the supplementary chargesheet to Khalid's counsel on Saturday.
During the hearing, Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, appearing for the police, denied all allegations made by Khalid.
Khalid, JNU student Sharjeel Imam and Faizan Khan have been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including murder, rioting, unlawful assembly, sedition, criminal conspiracy.
The court had on November 24 taken cognisance of the supplementary chargesheet. While it had decided to proceed against them for the offences under the stringent UAPA, it did not take cognisance of the offences of sedition, criminal conspiracy and some other charges under the Indian Penal Code as the required sanctions were awaited.
Communal violence had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.
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