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Umar Khalid Accused of Manipulating Social Media for Bail Favorability

Delhi Police Alleges Umar Khalid Manipulated Social Media Narratives to Influence Bail Hearings

The Delhi Police informed a court that Umar Khalid, a former JNU student accused in the 2020 northeast Delhi riots, had a pattern of shaping social media narratives to influence bail hearings. According to Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, Khalid’s WhatsApp chats revealed this strategy. Prasad cited instances where Khalid allegedly orchestrated media campaigns during bail hearings, aiming to sway public opinion. He presented social media posts with the hashtag ‘Free Omar Khalid’ from various individuals and organizations, including Amnesty India, Aakar Patel, Teesta Setalvad, Swati Chaturvedi, and Kaushik Raj. These posts criticized the denial of Khalid’s bail and framed it as a violation of his rights.

Prasad also highlighted Khalid’s father’s interviews with the media, where he expressed distrust in the Supreme Court and favored the trial court. Prasad claimed that Khalid and his associates manipulated media coverage and enlisted support from celebrities and activists to shape a narrative in Khalid’s favor.

Khalid’s defense, led by senior advocate Trideep Pais, countered these arguments, asserting that no incriminating evidence was found against Khalid. Pais criticized the prosecution’s reliance on call detail records (CDRs) as weak evidence and questioned allegations that Khalid had involved Bangladeshi individuals in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). He argued that recent bail grants in similar cases by the Supreme Court set a precedent for Khalid’s bail eligibility.

Pais contended that the prosecution lacked substantial evidence linking Khalid to terrorist activities or conspiracies. He criticized the use of “third-party evidence” and argued that witness testimonies lacked credibility.

The case is scheduled for further proceedings on April 24. (Source News18)

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