Delhi Court Frames Sedition Charges Against JNU Student for ‘Inflammatory Speeches

The Karkardooma court in Delhi, on Monday (January 23), ordered slapping of sedition charges against Jawaharlal Nehru (JNU) student Sharjeel Imam for ‘inflammatory speeches’ in Delhi during Delhi riots.

“Charges are being framed under sections 124 (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief) of Indian Penal Code, and Section 13 (punishment for unlawful activities) of UAPA,” Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat said in his order.

Imam had made inflammatory speeches at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 13, 2019, and at Aligarh Muslim University on December 16, 2019. He was one of the main organisers of the Shaheen Bagh protest, where they had blocked the road for months protesting against CAA and NRC.

“He is accused of delivering seditious speeches and inciting a particular section of the community to indulge in unlawful activities, detrimental to sovereignty and integrity of the nation…In the garb of protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act, he exhorted people of a particular community to block the highways leading to the major cities and resort to ‘Chakka Jam’, thereby disrupting normal life,” the prosecution mentioned in the charge sheet submitted in the court.

Police arrested him from Bihar in January 2020, and has been in judicial custody since. For about four months, Muslims protesting against CAA and NRC had blocked the Shaheen Bagh’s main road, creating havoc for the commuters. The roads were cleared once the national lockdown was announced following the Covid-19 pandemic.  

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