A supplementary chargesheet has been filed against Jawaharlal Nehru University student Sharjeel Imam for delivering “seditious speech” and “abetting riots” in Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University in December last year, the police said on Saturday, according to The Hindu.

“...Sharjeel Imam was arrested for instigating and abetting the Jamia riots, due to his seditious speech delivered on December 13, 2019,” a statement from the Delhi Police said, reported ANI. “During the investigation, on the basis of evidence collected, sections 124A (sedition) and 153A (promoting enmity) of the Indian Penal Code were invoked in the case.”

The police statement added that the first chargesheet was filed against those arrested by the Special Investigation Team and that a supplementary chargesheet “in continuation of the earlier chargesheet has now been filed in the court of MM [Metropolitan Magistrate] Saket”.

On February 18, the Delhi Police had filed a chargesheet in connection with the December 15 violence at Jamia Millia Islamia University and named Imam as an “instigator”.

The Delhi Police said that riots began “in consequence” to an anti-Citizenship Act protest march, organised by Jamia students in Delhi’s New Friends Colony and outside Jamia Millia in December. “The mob indulged in large-scale rioting, stone-pelting and arson, and in the process destroyed many public and private properties,” the police statement read.

Cases of arson, vandalism and rioting were registered in two police stations, the statement noted, adding that many police officers and people were injured in the alleged rioting.

Imam’s lawyer Ahmad Ibrahim said they were yet to go over the entire supplementary chargesheet. “We have not gone through the complete chargesheet that was filed on 17th April 2020 by [the] Delhi Police,” he told ANI. “After going through it, we will take the appropriate measures.”

Anti-CAA protests

In the evening of December 15, violence had erupted in the area around Jamia Millia Islamia university during an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest march by the university’s students. The Delhi Police was accused of using excessive force to quell the demonstrations and of storming the campus. The police claimed its action was justified as the protestors had allegedly injured its personnel and set buses on fire.

On February 15, the Jamia Coordination Committee, which has organised a few of the protests, tweeted CCTV footage that appeared to show the Delhi Police personnel assaulting students in a reading hall in the university on the evening of December 15. A law student had lost his eye in the attack. Delhi Police had said it will look into the video.

Imam is under fire for remarks he allegedly made at Aligarh Muslim University on January 16. In a clip on social media, Imam was purportedly heard telling protestors to “cut off Assam from India” by occupying the “Muslim-dominated Chicken’s Neck”. The comment was widely perceived as secessionist, but Imam later claimed that he had called for peaceful protests to “block roads going to Assam” – “basically a call for chakka jam”.

On April 2, the Delhi Police had arrested Meeran Haider, a PhD student of the university for allegedly conspiring to incite violence in Delhi. Haider is also the president of the Rashtriya Janata Dal youth wing’s Delhi unit. Days later, Safoora Zargar, an MPhil student at the university was arrested for allegedly obstructing the road near the Jaffrabad metro station during the anti-CAA protests in February. Zargar is the media coordinator of the Jamia Coordination Committee.

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