Hyderabad: Student Activist Umar Khalid turned 34 years today as he still remains in Tihar jail for his alleged involvement in the North-East Delhi riots of 2020.
Activists took to Twitter to express their anguish against the blatant abuse of human rights and questioned the jailing of the activist without solid evidence and booking him under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Noted pediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan, who was targeted in the 2017 Gorakhpur hospital deaths, also took to Twitter to wish the jailed student on his birthday.
Former Aam Aadmi Party Councillor Tahir Hussain, Jamia Millia Islamia student activist Asif Iqbal Tanha, JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar are some of the several other people who were also booked under the UAPA.
On July 11th, several activists, human rights groups rallied behind the jailed leader demanding his release as he completed 300 days in prison. Twitter was trending with post #umarkorihakaro as people expressed solidarity for the jailed activist.
Lobbies of independent activists, human rights groups, and lawyers have stated that he was arrested and booked under a draconian law for speaking out against the current regime’s legislation on the Citizenship Amendment Act.
They stressed that the draconian laws were misused to stifle the critics of the government.
This was also stated by Umar himself as a foreshadowing of his imprisonment.
While speaking to Siasat.com earlier, poet and activist Nabiya Khan said, “With every arrest of fearless pathbreakers and dedicated activists like Umar Khalid, democracy in India dies a thousand deaths. Umar Khalid and others like him who are falsely incarcerated are losing precious years of their lives because they stood up against the fascist government.”
On 16th April this year, Umar got bail from Delhi High Court in another case related to Riots in North East Delhi wherein an FIR was registered against him at Khajuri Khas Police station which alleged charges of “criminal conspiracy”. However, he had to stay put in prison as other facets of the case were still being investigated.
Delhi Police have filed multiple FIRs against Umar Khalid in connection to violence that broke out in North East Delhi in Feb 2020 with no clear explanation on any of them as things stand.