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Delhi Police opposes bail plea of sedition accused Sharjeel Imam, say he may threaten witnesses, re-engage in riot-like activities

Sharjeel Imam had sought bail saying that all the co-accused, who were arrested for allegedly causing the violence, had been granted bail in the case while he is still in prison for over 20 months.

On Wednesday, the Delhi Police opposed the bail plea of the JNU student Sharjeel Imam who has been arrested in a sedition case and said that he had instigated a particular religious community against the government during the anti-CAA protests in Delhi. Opposing the bail plea of Delhi riots accused, the Police said that if granted bail, Imam could influence the witnesses by threatening them and re-engaging in riot-like activities.

The Delhi Court on January 24 framed charges against the Imam for allegedly making inflammatory speeches at Aligarh Muslim University and in the Jamia area during the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act. According to the Police, Imam’s speech which he had addressed to the Muslim community was specifically to instigate violence and he had also misled the students by mentioning fake detention camps.

The Delhi Police in its reply to the Delhi High Court said that the case is sensitive and if Imam is approved bail, he may evade the process of law and jump, threaten the public witnesses and may indulge in similar crimes again. The Police also said that Imam had tried to spread false rumours of genocide in Assam through his speeches. He through his speeches, instigated a particular religious community of Assam to cut it off from central India.

Further according to the Police, the statements made in the speech come under Section 124A and 153A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The Police also said that the location of the accused’s phone was at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 13, 2019 and at Shaheen Bagh on December 15.

On December 13, 2019, Sharjeel Imam had spread misinformation and had incited the gathering to revolt against the government. He had asked the general public to block the ingress and egress to 500 cities in India, which have a substantial Muslim population. He had also promoted enmity between different groups of society on religious grounds.

Sharjeel Imam had applied for bail in the case registered against him and said that all the co-accused, who were arrested for allegedly causing the violence, have been granted bail in the case while he was still in prison for over 20 months. The bail application further mentioned that Imam had not even been named in the FIR and was deliberately targeted by the investigation agency.

Earlier the trial court had also denied Imam’s bail plea and had claimed that free speech was not to be exercised at the cost of communal peace and harmony. The trial court had ruled that the evidence presented in the case showed that Imam had influenced the act of rioting and mischief.

“The tone and tenor of the incendiary speech tend to have a debilitating effect upon public tranquillity, peace, and harmony of the society. It is no gainsaying that fundamental right of ‘freedom of speech and expression’ cannot be exercised at the cost of communal peace and harmony of the society”, the trial court was quoted.

It is important to note that Imam is also accused to be the mastermind of the February 2020 riots, which had left 53 people dead and over 700 injured. However, the Delhi court on January 24 ordered the imposition of several other sections including sedition, punishment for unlawful activities (UAPA) against Sharjeel Imam. The sections will be invoked over the toxic speeches made by him during the anti-CAA protests in Delhi.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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