A WhatsApp message featuring JNU student Sharjeel Imam talking about “Hong Kong wali strategy” and his broken spectacles have been cited by Delhi Police in their chargesheet filed at Karkardooma court last week, to substantiate their claim that he was a conspirator behind the Northeast Delhi riots. Though Imam has not been chargesheeted as an accused in connection with the riots so far, police said they plan to do so in a supplementary chargesheet later.
Police also cited slogans raised by a Jamia student — “Nara-e-Takbeer” and “La Ilaha Illallah” — when Congress leader Shashi Tharoor visited Jamia Millia Islamia as a speaker on January 12, and said Imam had put him up to it.
Imam’s lawyer Ibrahim said, “It would not be right to comment on these allegations since he has not been made an accused in this case. There is nothing on record to show he did any crime.”
The chargesheet also refers to an anti-CAA protest from December 7, 2019, when Imam was introduced to Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav by “Umar Khalid, his (Imam’s) senior and mentor from JNU”.
“Imam was on an earlier occasion instructed by Khalid to form a group of like-minded groups of JNU, Jamia Millia, AMU and DU… Yadav and Khalid also instructed him to mobilise students of Jamia Millia, AMU and DU,” the chargesheet states. Police have stated Khalid, Yadav and Imam decided to use social media “for large scale indoctrination and mobilisation of youths for chakka jam as a protest against CAB”.
Yadav, when contacted, said: “While I understand police’s compulsion to come to a conclusion, they could do with a better script writer. Umar Khalid was under police protection for the last two years. They are saying he did such a big conspiracy and executed it right under their nose? Imam was arrested a month before the Delhi riots. They are saying he executed this conspiracy?”
On the December violence near Jamia Millia Islamia, the chargesheet states: “The complicity of Imam is corroborated by the fact his spectacles were broken in the riots…” Calling him the mastermind of the Shaheen Bagh agitation, police state it was a “criminal conspiracy” when he “exited from the protest site and handed over its management to his associates”.
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