Just InNation

Who is Umar Khalid? Ex-JNU student leader arrested under UAPA

Vishnu Vasisht

Police arrested Umar Khalid, an ex-JNU student leader, late on Sunday night for his role in the riots in North East Delhi in February this year. Khalid has been arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act i.e. UAPA.

Communal riots broke out in North East Delhi on 24 February following violence between opponents and supporters of the amended Citizenship Act (CAA). In which at least 53 people were killed and around 200 were injured.

Who is Umar Khalid?

Umar Khalid is said to be a resident of Talegaon, Amravati in Maharashtra. About three decades ago, Khalid's family settled in Delhi. Umar Khalid came into the limelight in 2016, when his name came to light in the case of sedition along with Kanhaiya Kumar in the anti-national sloganeering in JNU. On 9 February 2016, a sedition case was filed against Umar Khalid, Kanhaiya Kumar and others for raising slogans in support of anti-national and terrorist Afzal Guru. The police also arrested these three but later got bail from the court. Khalid was missing after the Delhi Police first arrested Kanhaiya. The next few days he appeared on TV channels. He was arrested on 23 February after appearing on campus, but was later granted bail.

Not only this, even before this, Umar's name has come up in many controversies. They came to the JNU campus along with some of his colleagues to spread hatred by placing objectionable pictures of Hindu deities. Umar has also raised the demand for independence of Kashmir on many occasions.

In 2010, Umar was among those celebrating after the killing of CRPF personnel in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh. On several occasions, he directly targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Umar Khalid was also named in an FIR related to the violence in Bhima Koregaon in 2018. Khalid was accused of spreading hatred between two communities through his speech. In August of the same year, he was attacked at the Constitution Club but narrowly escaped.

The Crime Branch of Delhi Police filed a charge sheet against suspended Aam Aadmi Party councilor Tahir Hussain last month. It said that Hussain met Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi of 'United Against Hate' on 8 January before the riots. In this meeting, Umar told Hussain that 'be prepared for something big during Trump's visit'. According to the chargesheet, Umar said that he and the people of the Popular Front of India (PFI) would help Tahir financially.

Read Next | Ceasefire violations by Pakistan at record 17-year high

Comment here