Sharjeel Imam (Photo Credit: File Photo)
The Delhi Police has booked former JNU student Sharjeel Imam under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with the violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act near Jamia Millia Islamia in December last year, said his lawyer. Imam has been booked under section 13 (unlawful activities) of the Act in the case, said his counsel advocate Mishika Singh. The police had earlier charged Imam with sedition, alleging his speech promoted enmity between people that led to riots.
"He was arrested in two cases of violence at Jamia on December 13 and 15, 2019, for instigating and abetting the Jamia riots, due to his seditious speech on December 13 and based on evidences collected, IPC sections 124 A and 153 A were also invoked," said Anil Mittal, Additional PRO, Delhi Police.
In its supplementary charge sheet, the police had said serious riots had broken out in consequence of the protest march organised by Jamia students against the amended citizenship law on December 15 last year. The mob indulged in large-scale rioting, stone-pelting and arson, and in the process destroyed several public and private properties while a number of police personnel and people were injured in the riots, the agency said in its final report filed before the chief metropolitan magistrate court.
The cases were registered at New Friends Colony and Jamia Nagar Police Stations. In the New Friends Colony case, Imam was arrested for instigating and abetting the Jamia riots, due to his seditious speech delivered on December 13, 2019.
"During investigation, on the basis of evidence collected, sections 124 A (sedition) and 153 A IPC (promoting enmity between classes) were invoked in the case," a police officer said. Imam was arrested from Bihar's Jehanabad on January 28. He was involved in organising protests at Shaheen Bagh but came into limelight after a video showed him making controversial comments before a gathering at Aligarh Muslim University, following which he was booked under sedition charges.
The Delhi Police had also booked him for an "inflammatory" speech delivered on the Jamia campus. Another case was filed against Imam in Assam under the stringent anti-terror law for his remark that Assam could be "severed from India, even if for a few months" as a result of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Police in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh had also lodged FIRs against the JNU scholar over his speech in which he threatened to "cut off" Assam and the rest of the northeast from the country.