Editorial

Umar Khalid’s Arrest..Student Politics..UAPA

To tell from the last, about UAPA, it aims at preventing unlawful activities and also give the central government power to designate an individual or an organisation as a ‘terrorist’. Under ordinary criminal law, an individual is entitled to bail by default if the investigating agency fails to file a chargesheet within 90 days. But under UAPA, the period of probe and detention of the accused can be extended up to 180 days. Section 43D(5) of UAPA also makes bail virtually impossible. It says that nobody accused of the terror offences under the Act will be released on bail if the court, after perusing the case diary and police report. Now Umar Khalid’s arrest comes following the detention, under UAPA, of Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita (JNU), Ishrat Jahan, a former Councillor of the Congress Party, Jamia students Meeran Haider also an RJD youth leader, Asif Tanha, Safoora Zagar and Gulfisha Fatima and Shifr-ul-Rehman, regarding anti CAA protest. Anti-CAA protester, former JNU student and activist Umar Khalid was arrested on 14 September, for conspiring and making “provocative” speeches before the Delhi Riots broke out in February 2020. The students have also been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act UAPA for allegedly being part of a “premeditated conspiracy” in the violence. At least 53 people were killed and around 200 were injuredClashes broke out in late February between groups in support of and opposed to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, and took on a communal colour.  The use of UAPA is to block the normal processes of justice by which they would have been out on bail since, as many of the lower courts have mentioned, there is not a shred of evidence against any of them for inciting violence. The arrests constitute an assault on the constitutional guarantees of the democratic right to dissent.”

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