2001 hate speech case: Gujarat Police arrests SIMI ex-chief in Azamgarhhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/2001-hate-speech-case-gujarat-police-arrests-falahi-simi-ex-chief-azamgarh-5974141/

2001 hate speech case: Gujarat Police arrests SIMI ex-chief in Azamgarh

The Gujarat police produced Shahid Badr before a local court of Azamgarh that granted him interim bail and also directed him to appear before a court in Kutch by September 13.

Shahid Badr Falahi was granted bail on Friday.

A TEAM of Gujarat Police arrested 49-year-old Dr Shahid Badr Falahi, former president of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), from his residence in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh district Thursday, in connection with a case of alleged hate speech registered against him in Kutch district in 2001.

The Gujarat police produced Shahid Badr before a local court of Azamgarh that granted him interim bail and also directed him to appear before a court in Kutch by September 13. Falahi was released Friday evening after he completed legal formalities by depositing two sureties as directed by the court.

In 2001, the case against Shahid Badr was lodged at Bhuj police station in Kutch under IPC sections 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 143 (unlawful assembly), said the in-charge of Bhuj police station M N Chauhan, adding that a local court in 2002 had issued a warrant against him.

“A team of Gujarat Police had gone to Azamgarh to arrest Shahid Badr,” said Chauhan.

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Station House Officer, City Kotwali police station, Anil Singh said the team reached Azamgarh on Thursday and arrested Shahid Badr from his residence in the evening. He was brought to the police station and on Friday morning produced before a local court, added Singh.

Shahid Badr’s lawyer Abdul Khaliq said, “Gujarat police had sought transit remand of my client and we objected on ground that charges levelled against Shahid Badr is a bailable offence. Shahid Badr was not aware about the case and why they did not execute the court for the past seven years.”

Shahid Badr, a unani doctor, is a resident of Manchuba locality in Azamgarh and used to run a clinic in the city.

“Shahid Badr’s lawyer raised an objection stating that charges on which he was booked was bailable offence. The court granted him interim bail and asked to deposit two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each. The court also directed him appear before a court in Gujrat by August 13. Till then, he would be under the watch of district police,” said government counsel, Azamgarh, Ved Prakash Verma.

“Shahid Badr has been asked to report to the police station daily till he has to go to Gujarat for appearance before a local court in the case,” said Abdul Khaliq.

When contacted, Shahid Badr Falahi told The Indian Express, “I had gone to Kutch in 2001 to address a meeting. I was not aware that a case was then filed against me. I got to know about it when police team reached my house Thursday.”

He claimed that of the total seven cases against him, he was acquitted in four – three cases in Delhi and one in Bahraich. “The case in Bahraich was withdrawn on an application moved by the state government. Now, only three cases are pending against me. One each in Delhi, Azamgarh and Gorakhpur,” claimed Shahid Badr.

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