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Delhi Police get Sharjeel Imam’s custody for five days

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 29, 2020 11:46 PM IST

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) scholar Sharjeel Imam, who was arrested for sedition on Tuesday afternoon from his village in Bihar’s Jehanabad by a team of Delhi and Bihar police, was, on Wednesday, remanded to five days in police custody by a Delhi court.

Imam was wanted by the police in Delhi, among five other states, on a charge of sedition for his allegedly inflammatory and instigating speech during an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest outside the Jamia Millia Islamia on December 13, 2019—two days before a violent clash broke out between police and protesters.

A video that shows him allegedly talking about blocking the North East from the rest of India for at least a month and isolating Assam has been widely circulated on social media. Hindustan Times could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.

His mother, Agsan Rahim, had emphasized that Imam’s speech was misconstrued and taken out of context and that her son is innocent.

Imam was brought to Delhi on Wednesday afternoon and was produced by the police at the residence of chief metropolitan magistrate Purushottam Pathak in the evening amidst high security.

Deputy commissioner of police (crime) Rajesh Deo confirmed that they have been given Imam’s custody for five days.

An officer privy to the investigation, who did not wish to be identified, said Imam will be questioned and will be shown excerpts of his allegedly inflammatory speech. Police said they will check his cellphone and probe if he is part of a larger organization that is mobilising the anti-CAA protests.

“We will also try to establish the sequence of events through his statement and will find out who all were accompanying him at the time. If need be, others will also be questioned,” the officer added.

Earlier on Wednesday, Imam was scheduled to be produced at the Patiala House court complex in the afternoon. However, because some lawyers were protesting against Imam at the court complex, the production was transferred to the judge’s residence.

On Saturday, the Delhi police filed an FIR against Imam under IPC sections 124A of sedition and 153A for promoting or attempting to promote disharmony or feelings of enmity on grounds of religion, race, place of birth residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, among other sections.

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