Never signed disclosure statement included in charge sheet, says Khalid; court seeks police reply

The Delhi Police, in its supplementary charge sheet filed in connection to the riots in the Khajuri Khas area in February last year, have relied upon an alleged disclosure statement of Umar Khalid, in which the former JNU Student Union leader had purportedly admitted his role in organising the north-east Delhi riots.

However, Khalid on Thursday told a city court that he did not make any such admission before the investigators and had refused to sign the said disclosure statement. Khalid also cited the copy of the charge sheet, in which below his disclosure statement, it is written, “refused to sign”.

“I have just got the charge sheet, which shows that below my disclosure statement, it is written “refused to sign”. Despite this, the charge sheet was leaked to the media. This isn’t the first time. It causes my deep anguish every time it happens,” Khalid told the court.

In his application, Khalid urged the court to ensure leakage of such “unconfirmed and uncorroborated disclosure statements” must be stopped in the interest of a free and fair trial.

Metropolitan Magistrate Dinesh Kumar called for a reply from the police and posted the matter for further hearing to January 14. The court also extended Khalid’s judicial custody.

In a supplementary charge sheet filed against Khalid on December 26, the city police’s crime branch has claimed that during his police remand, Khalid disclosed about his meeting with former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain and United Against Hate member Khalid Saifi on January 8, 2020, at Shaheen Bagh, where they conspired to organise the riots in north-east Delhi.

The police have also alleged that during the investigation, a public witness, Roshan Pathak, was examined regarding the financial transactions made by Hussain in January 2020 to allegedly fund the anti Citizenship Amendment Act protests and later the riots.

Pathak, who was working as an accountant in one of Hussain’s companies, had told the police that he had allegedly taken cash from two persons (Amit Gupta and Manoj Thakur) and given that money to Hussain.

“It has transpired that Hussain had transferred this money from his company account to the accounts of other companies…and had used Pathak to bring the money back to him. This cash was then used by Hussain to organise the riots,” the charge sheet has alleged.

The police have also claimed that facts regarding the cheating and forgery committed by Hussain have emerged — he had allegedly induced his partner Nitesh Gupta to transfer money to his shell company accounts and had provided fake bills of manpower supply to Gupta while in fact no such service was ever provided by Hussain to Gupta.

“These fake bills were seized by the enforcement directorate… Photocopies of some fake bills were provided by Nitesh Gupta during the investigation of the present case… Hence, section 420/467 IPC have been added in the present case against accused Mohd. Tahir Hussain,” the charge sheet read.

The police have also alleged that Khalid was an active participant in the criminal conspiracy to instigate communal riots in various parts of Delhi.The police, quoting Hussain’s driver Rahul Kasana’s witness statement, alleged that Khalid met with Saifi and Hussain in Shaheen Bagh and hatched the conspiracy for the riots.

The charge sheet further claimed that during interrogation in police custody, Saifi had allegedly disclosed about his role in the conspiracy along with that of Hussain and Khalid.

Earlier the police had filed a charge sheet against Saifi, Hussain and others charging them of unlawful assembly, rioting, arson, destruction of property and criminal conspiracy, among other sections, on which the court had taken cognisance on October 12. Khalid was arrested on October 1 in this case.

Communal riots had broken out in the north-east Delhi in February last year claiming 53 lives and leaving over 400 injured.

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