New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) A Delhi court on Friday extended the judicial custody of former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid and research scholar Sharjeel Imam till November 20 in connection with the Delhi riots case, while also pulling up the Tihar Jail Superintendent for not allowing Khalid to step out of cell.
Both the accused, recently arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, were produced before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat through video conferencing at the end of their judicial remand period, pursuant to which it was extended further.
The court lambasted the Jail Superintendent for allegedly not allowing Khalid to step out of his jail cell, which the accused claimed is akin to solitary confinement. He had had brought this to the notice of the court on Thursday after which the prison official was asked to appear before it.
During the course of proceedings, the court asked the Jail Superintendent to take stock of the situation and ensure that it is not repeated. “There is a grievance of the accused that in the garb of providing security, you are keeping him confined to the cell. What is this?” the judge asked.
Khalid, however, informed the court that the things have improved after he brought the issue to the notice of the court. “The Superintendent came to meet me and himself brought me out. Before that, there were long periods when I wasn’t allowed out.”
On Thursday, the accused had informed the court that that he is not being allowed to step out of his jail cell, which he claimed is akin to solitary confinement and is taking a toll on his mental and physical health.
“I am aware of the order passed by the court that I should be given adequate security cover and continue with the normal jail routine without any discrimination or distinction. However, in the last 3-4 days, I have been not at all allowed to step out of my jail cell and I am alone in it. It is practically a solitary confinement,” Khalid told the court.
The case against the duo pertains to a ‘conspiracy’ to incite the riots, which had left 53 people dead and 748 injured. In the case filed against Khalid, the police has claimed that the communal violence was a premeditated conspiracy allegedly hatched by Khalid and others.