The Uttar Pradesh government has told the Supreme Court that due to the inflammatory speech made by JNU scholar Sharjeel imam at Aligarh on the 16th of January, widespread arson and looting ensued in the state. The statement was made in the affidavit filed by the government in connection to a plea filed by The Wire columnist requesting the consolidation of all FIRs against him in various states.
Opposing the plea, the Yogi government said that the FIR filed by UP Police could not be clubbed with the rest as his speech had a distinct local effect. The state government said that the speech by Sharjeel Imam led to large-scale arson, stone-pelting, firing at the Police and the looting of donation boxes in Temples over the next two months.
“On January 23, around 150-200 protesters, including AMU students, blocked the road and raised slogans of hatred. On January 31, more than 500 persons congregated, including AMU students, for an anti-CAA demonstration creating a tense situation. On February 23, more than 500-600 unknown persons pelted stones, looted donation boxes at temples, scuffled with temple priests, leading to conflict and tension,” the affidavit said.
“Again on February 23, more than one thousand persons in a pre-planned manner forcibly entered Kotwali Upkot and created a riotous situation by firing from illegal firearms. On February 24, a congregation raised hatred slogans and pelted stones at police and fired upon them with illegal weapons injuring several policemen and damaging public property,” it continued.
The Uttar Pradesh government contended that the consolidation of FIRs filed against Sharjeel Imam in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Assam, Manipur and Uttar Pradesh would cause great harm to the investigation that is underway to deduce the consequences of his speech and its links with the events that followed. The Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing in the matter.