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Delhi Riots: I Will Stop Saying 'Salaam' if Illegal, Khalid Saifi Tells Court on Police Remarks

Police photograph burnt out properties in a riot affected area in New Delhi. (File photo: Reuters)

Police photograph burnt out properties in a riot affected area in New Delhi. (File photo: Reuters)

Saifi's remarks came days after the police said JNU student Sharjeel Imam, who is also an accused in the case, began one of his alleged inflammatory speeches with "As-salamu alaykum".

Alluding to Delhi Police's remarks on "As-salamu alaykum" salutation, Delhi riots conspiracy case accused and activist Khalid Saifi on Friday said he would have to stop saying it in case it is illegal.

Saifi's remarks came days after the police said JNU student Sharjeel Imam, who is also an accused in the case, began one of his alleged inflammatory speeches with "As-salamu alaykum", which shows it was addressed to a particular community and not the public at large.

I always greet my friends with salaam. I think I will have to stop it in case it is illegal. Is it a law or presumption of the prosecution team? Saifi asked Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat. His query impelled ASJ Rawat to clarify that it was the prosecution's argument and not the word of the court. The exchange took place through video-conference.

On September 1, Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad read out a January 16, 2020 speech given by Sharjeel Imam in Aligarh and said: He [Sharjeel Imam] begins this speech by saying As-salamu alaykum, which shows that it is only subjected to one community.

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Furthermore, Saifi said that whenever he gets a bail, he will file a case in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the police for wasting two million of precious papers on charge sheet in the conspiracy case.

He, along with several others, has been booked under the anti-terror law in the case. They are accused of being the "masterminds" of the February 2020 violence, which had left 53 people dead and over 700 injured. Besides him, former JNU student leader Umar Khalid, JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain and several others have also been booked under the stringent law in the case.

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first published:September 10, 2021, 15:01 IST