Activist Umar Khalid ’s lawyer alleged that there are a few media channels who have been biased and had launched a ‘vicious campaign’ against his client.
Activist Umar Khalid on Monday ascertained a Delhi court to question the investigating officer regarding the leakage of the supplementary charge sheet filed against him in the February riots case to the media. Surprisingly, the charge sheet was leaked even before he got a copy from. Khalid, is a former student leader from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, is lodged in jail in connection with the Delhi riots case.
The activist also upset about the way a certain section of the media was reporting against him. “I am saying with absolute dismay that this pattern of media reporting on the charge sheet before the accused get a copy of it, is prejudicial to the trial,” Khalid told the court. “Please ask the prosecution and the investigating officer how is it that the media is getting a copy of the charge sheet before the accused is.”
Khalid is yet to receive a copy of the charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police in November. However, Khalid said that a part of the media had reported controversial statements and made serious allegations that the activist had admitted his role in the Delhi riots and that he had confessed for the same.
According to the sources, Umar Khalid said “The media says that in my confessional statements [disclosure statements] I have admitted to my role in the riots, how does that make sense when I gave it in writing that I had not signed any statement while in police custody on October 4,”.
The activist said that he was aware that confessional statements are not admissible in court but claimed that since the pattern of leaking selected disclosure statements was not followed, he feels that it would affect his right to a free and fair trial.
Khalid’s lawyer, Advocate Trideep Pais, alleged that a “vicious media campaign” was launched against his client. “Immediately after the charge sheet, the media started saying that Umar Khalid had admitted to the riots, to mobilizing people, to bring in women as a front, arranged guns etc,” Pais said. “However, when you read the same charge sheet you will know that the accused they talk of was not even present in Delhi.”
The Delhi court, which was hearing the application submitted on Sunday, moved the matter for hearing on Tuesday.
Khalid has moved to the court against the media coverage in the case. The activist informed to a court on November 28 that he was being subjected to a “vicious” media campaign. on his alleged involvement in the Delhi violence case.
Khalid had also requested for a copy of the charge sheet against him. He said that the copy would be helpful to him to defend himself during the “media trial” or understand the narrative involving him.
Khalid who was arrested on October 1 in connection with the Delhi riots case was was also arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in September. This arrest was made related to a larger conspiracy in the violence. A charge sheet against Khalid and student activists Sharjeel Imam and Faizan Khan were filed by the Delhi Police on November 22.
The police filed a 200-page charge sheet, that Khalid had “remotely controlled” the Delhi riots. It is also claimed by the Delhi Police that the violence initiated by Khalid was planned to conspired to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and to protest against the amended Citizenship Amendment Act.