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Delhi riots case: Court junks JNU student Sharjeel Imam’s bail plea in 2019 Jamia rioting case

The court observed that the contents of his speech “tend to have a debilitating effect on the communal peace and harmony”.

Delhi riots case: Court junks JNU student Sharjeel Imam's bail plea in 2019 Jamia rioting case-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Oct 22, 2021, 2:52 PM IST
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The Saket court in Delhi on Friday denied bail to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Sharjeel Imam, arrested for allegedly making inflammatory speeches and inciting violence during speeches against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Jamia Nagar area in 2019.

The court observed that the contents of his speech “tend to have a debilitating effect on the communal peace and harmony”.

Quoting Swami Vivekananda, the bench said, “We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think; Words are secondary; Thoughts live; they travel far.”

 According to police, Imam allegedly delivered a provocative speech on December 13, 2019, which resulted in riots two days later when a mob consisting of over 3,000 people attacked police personnel and torched several vehicles in the Jamia Nagar area.

Denying bail to him, Additional Sessions Judge Anuj Agrawal said, “The tone and tenor of the incendiary speech tend to have a debilitating effect upon public tranquillity, peace, and harmony of the society.”

Also read: SC adjourns hearing West Bengal's suit against CBI probe in post-poll violence cases till Nov 16

The case pertains to where a mob consisting of over 3,000 people attacked police personnel and torched several vehicles in the Jamia Nagar area during a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Bill on December 15, 2019.

The court, however, observed that the evidence that rioters got incited by his speech and indulged in acts of rioting “is 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. Further, there is no evidence corroborating the version of prosecution that alleged rioteers/co-accused were a part of the audience addressed by applicant/accused Sharjeel Imam on 13.12.2019,” the order read.

Besides this case, Imam is also accused of being the "mastermind" of the February 2020 northeast Delhi riots, which had left 53 people dead and over 700 injured.

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