Umar Khalid in court: ‘How can we be condemned without given a chance?’

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Student activist Umar Khalid who appeared in court in connection with Delhi riots case said that the ‘media trial against him and others was against the rights of the accused and violates constitutional mandates.’

Talking about how media projected him and others as convicted even before the conclusion of the trial, he said, “There were newspapers where the pictures of Asif iqbal, Natasha, me, Devangana etc were published with the headline “Dilli dango ke bade gunegaar, ye hain unke chehere.”

He further termed the media coverage against him as ‘imputation’, “I won’t even say that it is a media trial. This is imputation.” Live Law quoted him as saying.

Adding that he was just making an oral submission, ” How can we be condemned without given a chance? It’s not happening for the first time. It’s a pattern.”

A Delhi Court is hearing the case concerning alleged larger conspiracy behind the New Delhi riots that broke out in February last year. Additional Sessions Judge, Amitabh Rawat is hearing the matter.

Khalid was arrested in September last year, he was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on the charge of conspiring to engineer communal violence in Delhi during the visit to India of US President Donald Trump earlier this year.

He has also been charged with sedition and 18 other sections of the Indian Penal Code, including murder and attempt to murder.

The communal violence which took place in the national capital in February last year led to the death of 53 people, including one policeman.

Forty of the 52 civilians killed were Muslim and an affidavit submitted by the police to the Delhi high court has recorded the disproportionate damage to property and places of worship suffered by Muslims in what was clearly targeted violence.

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