Scores of security personnel cordoned off the courtroom at Karkardooma court on Tuesday as 18 accused in the Delhi riots conspiracy case, including Umar Khalid and Sharjeel Imam, were produced before the court physically for first time.
Prior to this, all the accused used to be presented before the court virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. Given the sensitivity of the case, several security personnel holding shields guarded the courtroom as the proceedings continued inside.
Pursuant to the proceedings, Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat extended their judicial custody for another 14 days. They will be now presented before the court on February 16 at the end of their remand period.
Besides Khalid and Imam, the others include Tahir Hussain, Safoora Zargar, Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, Khalid Saifi, Ishrat Jahan, Meeran Haider, Gulfisha, Shafa-ur-Rehman, Asif Iqbal, Shadab Ahmed, Tasleem Ahmed, Saleem Malik, Saleem Khan, Athar Khan and Faizan Khan.
The case pertains to alleged ‘conspiracy’ to incite the riots, which had left 53 people dead and 748 people injured. In September, the Delhi Police had filed a voluminous charge sheet against the accused under Unlawful Assembly (Prevention) Act, IPC, Arms Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
The Delhi Police claim the clashes were part of a “pre-planned and premeditated conspiracy”.
Their charge sheet in the case showed screenshots of purported WhatsApp messages exchanged by student activists, as well as their Facebook posts, to establish their complicity in the alleged conspiracy.