The Delhi Police Crime Branch has arrested Khalid Saifi in connection with the violence that took place in the Chand Bagh area during the Delhi riots in February this year, police said on Tuesday.
During the investigation, it was found that Saifi arranged a meeting between suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain and activist Umar Khalid at Shaheen Bagh on January 8 before the riots, reported India Today. The Delhi Police Crime Branch has earlier filed a chargesheet against Hussain and fourteen others for allegedly murdering Intelligence Bureau (IB) staffer Ankit Sharma during the riots. The chargesheet said that there was a "deep-rooted conspiracy" to cause the riots in Delhi and that Hussain played a "pivotal" role in it.
Meanwhile, Saifi is also named as an accused in another chargesheet filed by Delhi Police in connection with the Delhi violence case, police said.
For the uninitiated, violence had broken out in northeast Delhi allegedly between the groups supporting and opposing the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). At least 53 people lost their lives due to the violence while hundreds of others were injured.
Who is Khalid Saifi?
According to The Quint, Saifi is associated with United Against Hate (UAH). "UAH is a campaign started in July 2017 in response to the series of lynchings that had taken place around that time," said the report. It added that Nadeem Khan, Banojyotsna and Umar Khalid are the founders of the campaign.
UAH, through a Facebook post, condemned Saifi's arrest and said, "We condemn this nefarious designs of the police and we are confident that their conspiracy will fall flat and all the anti-CAA activists who have been wrongfully incarcerated will be proved innocent by the courts. Our resistance against the draconian and discriminatory CAA will meanwhile continue.
They said that he was was booked afresh under FIR 101, under Khajuri Khas PS. under section 109, 114, 147, 148, 149, 186, 353, 427, 435, 436, 454, 34 IPC and has been sent to 2 days of police custody.
"Saifi was first picked up from Khureji on 26.02.2020," they said and added, "After being brutally tortured he was taken into custody. Since then police has booked him under two more FIRs. They are desperate to frame him as a conspirator in Delhi riots case."
UAH said that Saifi is a diabetic patient and the only earning member in his family and his wife and kids are completely dependent on him. "Yet to expect any humanitarian treatment from the Delhi Police who are constantly targeting and framing anti-CAA activists in false cases of Delhi riots, is quite far fetched," they added.
Meanwhile, BJP's Priti Gandhi shared Saifi's pictures with AAP leaders and some prominent journalists. She wrote, "SIT has just arrested Khalid Saifi for orchestrating & planning Delhi riots along with Tahir Hussain & Umar Khalid. Sharing few of his pics for an even better perspective of the company he keeps!"