I'll stop saying 'Salaam' if illegal: Khalid Saifi tells court
(Sourced from PTI)
Alluding to Delhi Police's remarks on As-salamu alaykum salutation, Delhi riots case accused and activist Khalid Saifi on Friday said that he would have to stop saying it in case it is illegal. Saifi's remarks came days after Delhi police said JNU student Sharjeel Imam began one of his alleged inflammatory speeches with As-salamu alaykum, which shows it was addressed to a particular community.
Notably, Imam is also accused in the Delhi riots case. On September 1, Delhi police told the court, "Sharjeel Imam 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." "The people called upon to take action were also from one community. The speech was definitely divisive," police said.
"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.
Furthermore, Saifi said that whenever he gets bail, he will file a case in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the police for wasting two million precious papers on the charge sheet in the conspiracy case. He, along with several others, has been booked under the anti-terror law in the case, of being the "masterminds" of the February 2020 Northeast Delhi riots.
Besides him, former JNU student leader Umar Khalid, JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, Jamia Coordination Committee members Safoora Zargar, former AAP councilor Tahir Hussain and several others have also been booked under the stringent law in the case.
Notably, last month the court had slammed Delhi police for filing "half-baked" charge sheets in the case. Stating that the standard of police investigation of such cases was "very poor," the court had also sought the intervention of the Delhi Police Commissioner to take remedial actions. These observations were made while framing rioting and other charges against accused Ashraf Ali and another accused Parvez.
Pointing out that in most of the cases, investigating officers have not been appearing in court, it said the police does not even bother to take the investigation to its logical end. Meanwhile, the accused continue to languish in jails in multiple cases, it said. Notably, 53 people were killed and over 700 people were injured in the riots.