Delhi Police told the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that JNU student Sharjeel Imam, arrested in a sedition case, was seen allegedly inciting a particular religious section of the community against the government by stirring up unfounded fears in their minds regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Registry of Citizens (NRC) process.
The submission was made by police in their response filed as they opposed the bail plea of Imam, who was arrested for allegedly delivering an inflammatory speech and inciting violence during the CAA protests -NRC in 2019.
Police argued that Imam’s speech was clearly “communal”, which addressed Muslims in a particular way, and that he also misled students by mentioning fake detention camps.
“Given the facts, the prevailing circumstances and the sensitivity of the case, it is requested that the accused may evade the legal proceedings and jump, the accused may threaten public witnesses, the accused may commit to this crime again if released on bail, the current plaintiff/accused’s bail application strongly opposes it,” reads the response, filed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Inter-State Cell Crime Branch.
The case was heard before Judge Rajnish Bhatnagar, who listed the case for retrial on March 10.
Police said the Imam’s alleged provocative speech on December 13, 2019, in the New Friends Colony area, revealed that “the speaker, through misinformation, is inciting the gathering to revolt against the government of the time by urging the general public to block the entry and exit of 500 cities in India, which have large Muslim populations”. “The statement also encourages enmity between different groups in society on religious grounds. The speech, if acted upon, can have real and devastating effects on people’s lives and endanger their health and safety. It is harmful and divides communities and hinders social harmony,” the response said.
Police also said the imam was seen inciting a particular religious section of the community against the government at the time by creating unfounded fears in their minds about the CAA and the NRC process, which n has not yet been implemented in any way in the country except Assam. .
“Furthermore, through his speeches, he was also spreading lies about the Genocide in Assam. Through his speeches, he was inciting a particular religious section of society to disrupt/block access to the northeastern region of India from central India at ‘chicken neck’,” he said. -he declares.
Imam has requested bail in the case filed against him for his alleged incitement speeches which allegedly led to violence in Jamia Milia Islamia on December 15, 2019, during the anti-CAA protests.
Imam challenged the trial court’s Oct. 22, 2021 order that denied his bail plea.
Imam, 32, argued that all of the co-defendants, who were arrested for allegedly causing the violence, have been released on bail in the case despite him still being jailed for more than 20 months now.
He said the imam was not named in the FIR and has no connection to any of the events mentioned in the FIR and alleged that he was arrested by the investigative agency in the part of a targeted campaign to have multiple FIRs and investigations against him at the same time.
The trial court denied him bail, saying freedom of expression cannot be exercised at the expense of community peace and harmony.
According to the prosecution, on December 13, 2019, the imam delivered a provocative speech that sparked riots two days later when a mob of more than 3,000 people attacked police officers and set fire to several vehicles in the area of Jamia Nagar, south of Delhi.
The trial court had said that the evidence supporting the allegations that the rioters were incited by the Imam’s speech and subsequently engaged in acts of rioting, mischief, attacks on the police party, were few and sketchy.
He had, however, said that a quick and simple reading of the speech showed that he was clearly on communal lines. “The tone and tenor of inflammatory speech tends to have a debilitating effect on the public tranquility, peace and harmony of society,” the trial court had said, adding that “there is no doubt that the fundamental right to ‘freedom of expression and expression’ cannot be exercised to the detriment of common peace and the harmony of society. Delhi Police had claimed that the imam had incited a ‘particular religious community’ against the central government by raising unfounded fears in their minds over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). ).
In addition to this case, Imam is also accused of being the “mastermind” of the February 2020 riots, which left 53 dead and more than 700 injured. He was convicted under the strict Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). PTI SKV SKV RKS RKS
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