Let Umar Khalid step out of jail cell: Court
A Delhi court Friday termed as “bizarre and strange” Tihar’s submission that the cell in which former JNU student Umar Khalid was kept was located at a place from where he could see more than half of the ward and asked the jail authorities to allow to step out of his confinement.
The jail’s reply came after Khalid, who is accused of hatching a conspiracy to orchestrate the north-east Delhi riots, told the court on Thursday that he was not allowed to step out of his cell; was kept alone; and was not allowed to meet anyone. He alleged this was akin to solitary confinement.
The court had asked the Tihar jail no 2 superintendent to appear before it on Friday.
Additional sessions judge Amitabh Rawat told the superintendent to ensure Khalid is allowed to step out as per rules and to ensure there are no more complaints that an undertrial is being kept in sort of solitary confinement.
Khalid told the judge that after he apprised the court about the situation a day earlier, things got better and the jail superintendent himself came allowed him to step out of his cell.
Appearing for Khalid, senior advocate Trideep Pais said, “Is he (Khalid) an animal in a zoo that he is locked in a cage where he can see people and the people can look at him, but he can’t move out. This has to end for once and for all” and urged the court to pass an order against the jail authorities.
The court told the authorities that such no such complaints should come. “What kind of submission is this (referring to the third page of the reply)... It is a bizarre thing to say. This is strange. I should not get a complaint of this nature”.
The authorities agreed to Khalid’s request of books and warm clothes in the wake of the approaching winter.
Meanwhile, the court extended the judicial custody of Khalid and Sharjeel Imam, another accused in the conspiracy case, till November 20 even though both the counsels opposed the remand pleas.
Pais contended that the present judicial remand application moved by Delhi Police Special Cell is a copy paste of an earlier remand plea. He said the remand is not necessary, he submitted.
Advocate Surabhi Dhar, who appeared for Imam, said the remand application is an attempt to keep her client in continuous incarceration. The court then said it would pass a detailed order later.
Imam told the court that like Khalid, he is being kept in a high-security area and that he should get more mobility.
“When i was brought to Tihar from Guwahati, and was lodged in jail no 2, documents, submissions to professors, IT, etc., were seized and the jail authority said would be handed over to me as soon as they had a look at it. They have not been returned yet,” he said.
The court asked the counsel to file an appropriate application along with other grievances.
Communal riots had broken out in parts of north-east Delhi in February 2020, in which 53 lives died and 607 persons were injured.