NEW DELHI — At 11 am on Feb 27, Nargis Saifi was at the Mandoli prison complex to see her husband Khalid Saifi, when she saw him arrive at the otherside of the plexiglass separation on a wheelchair with a plaster cast on both legs.
When Nargis picked up the phone to speak with him, Khalid told her he had been tortured at the Jagatpuri Police Station the previous night, after he was arrested for allegedly inciting a mob to pelt stones at the police in the final throes of the communal riots that consumed northeast Delhi in February.
“I won’t be able to tell you how I felt. Your mind stops. When he left me a day before, he was perfect. Then, I see him in pain. They tortured him so much over a protest,” she told HuffPost India.
Khalid’s lawyer, senior advocate Rebecca John, alleged that he was “brutally beaten inside the police station” at Khalid’s bail hearing on 21 March, but Additional Sessions Judge Manjusha Wadhwa denied him bail, claiming that a co-accused, who is a minor, had given a statement to the effect that Khalid handed him a country made pistol.
His lawyers say the police may have coerced a statement from the minor while they had him in custody and the confession of a minor has zero evidentiary value.
John argued that testimony of a co-accused is not admissible in a trial, and it should not be in bail hearing, but Judge Wadhwa said that Khalid was accused of grave crimes in FIR 44/2020.
That same day, the police booked him under a second FIR, the now infamous “conspiracy FIR” or FIR 59/2020 that says former Jawaharlal Nehru University and political activist Umar Khalid and his associates were behind the Delhi Riots.
Khalid Saifi, a 39-year-old businessman, has now been incarcerated for four months in Mandoli Jail, where the first coronavirus case was detected in May.
Despite rising coronavirus cases in Delhi, and the police failing to furnish the charge sheet within the stipulated 90 days since Saifi was arrested in FIR...