Sharjeel Imam denied bail in 2019 Jamia rioting case
A Delhi court on Friday rejected the bail application of Sharjeel Imam, a former student of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protester. Imam was arrested for allegedly making inflammatory speeches and inciting violence during anti-CAA protests in the Jamia Nagar area of Delhi in 2019. Here are more details on this.
Why does it matter?
Friday's order implies Imam will have to stay in Delhi's Tihar Jail for a longer period of time and may have to move a fresh bail application to walk out. He was arrested for making alleged inflammatory speeches at Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University in 2019. The court, however, observed there is no evidence to suggest that his speeches incited the violence.
Order passed by Additional Sessions Judge Anuj Aggarwal
Additional Sessions Judge Anuj Aggarwal stated, "A cursory and plain reading of the speech dated December 13, 2019, reveals that same is clearly on communal/divisive lines." "In my view, the tone and tenor of the incendiary speech tend to have a debilitating effect upon public tranquility, peace, and harmony of the society," the court further said.
'We are what our thoughts have made us'
Judge Aggarwal also quoted Swami Vivekananda while denying bail to Imam. "We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think; Words are secondary; Thoughts live; they travel far."
Allegations that Imam's speech incited violence are sketchy: Court
However, the court noted allegations that Imam's speech instigated violence are "scanty and sketchy." "Neither any eye witness has been cited by prosecution nor there is any other evidence on record to suggest that co-accused got instigated and committed the alleged act of rioting etc. upon hearing the speech of applicant/accused Sharjeel Imam," the order stated.
Imam faces several other police cases
Imam was arrested on January 28, 2020, from Bihar in connection with this case. Besides, he is accused of being a "mastermind" in the February 2020 North East Delhi riots that led to the deaths of 53 people. He is also facing several police cases in five states, including Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and Delhi.Share this timeline