Delhi Police accused JNU PhD scholar Sharjeel Imam of allegedly instigating riots at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 13 and 15 through “seditious” speeches outside the university campus, during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) last year. Apart from Imam, a chargesheet filed by a special investigation team of the Crime Branch also names local leader Ashu Khan for allegedly leading a mob involved in arson.
In its supplementary chargesheet, police said “serious riots had broken out in consequence to the protest march organised by Jamia students” against CAA on December 15 last year. “The mob indulged in large-scale rioting, stone-pelting and arson, and destroyed many public and private properties. Cases of rioting, arson and damage to public property were registered in both police stations. Many policemen and public persons were injured in the riots,” said Additional PRO (Delhi Police) Anil Mittal. Four DTC buses were burnt and 10 police bikes were damaged, in addition to injuries to over 100 people, after protesters allegedly resorted to stone pelting, police said. In the subsequent crackdown, police barged into the Jamia campus and allegedly assaulted students.
Imam (31) was earlier arrested on charges of 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, etc) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) over a speech he delivered at AMU. Besides Delhi, police in UP, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have booked him on charges of sedition. “Imam was later arrested in two cases of violence at Jamia on December 13 and 15, for instigating and abetting the Jamia riots, due to his seditious speech on December 13. Based on evidences collected, IPC sections 124 A and 153-A were also invoked,” Mittal said.
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