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No charge sheet against ex-DU teacher SAR Geelani for anti-India slogans day after JNU event

The event, at which former Delhi University teacher SAR Geelani allegedly shouted anti-India slogans was held at Delhi’s Press Club on the evening of February 10 — nearly 21 hours after the event on JNU campus to protest the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on his death anniversary.

delhi Updated: Jan 15, 2019 12:31 IST
Prawesh Lama
Prawesh Lama
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
JNU sedition case,SAR Geelani,press club case
Former Delhi University teacher SAR Geelani was booked for sedition for allegedly raising anti-India slogans at the Delhi press club in 2016.(HT File )

Two years, 11 months and three days after police registered an FIR against former Delhi University teacher SAR Geelani, accusing him of sedition for allegedly shouting “anti-India” slogans at an event at Delhi’s Press Club, the case remains pending investigation, and the police are yet to file formal charges.

The event was organised on the evening of February 10 — nearly 21 hours after the event on JNU campus to protest the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on his death anniversary. The Delhi Police alleged that “anti-India” slogans were raised by students Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya at the event held at JNU.

According to the FIR, at around 5.30pm, Geelani and 50 others had shouted “anti-India” slogans at the event. Police said Geelani too was protesting the hanging of Afzal Guru.

A club official had informed the police about hearing the group shout such slogans.

A day later, police registered an FIR on the basis of a news report in a Hindi channel, after which a sedition case was registered. The former DU professor is out on bail.

A senior police officer, who did not wish to be named, said, “The status of the case is that it is pending investigation. Yes, the charges, timing and the context of the crime may be the same but they are being investigated by two different agencies. One by the special cell while another by local police. We will file a charge sheet soon.”

Geelani could not be reached for comment.

Sedition cases are rare

In police records, only four sedition cases have been filed in the last 12 years by Delhi Police. The first two cases registered in 2012 and 2013 were quashed by the court for lack of evidence. The other two include cases against JNU students and Geelani.

The first case was that of a UK resident who in February 2013 pasted notices, claiming that he did not believe in the Indian constitution and called his “Muslim brothers to come and gherao Parliament and ensure that Shariah is implemented”. In January 2016, police said the man was untraceable and closed the case.

Another case that did not pass the court’s muster was against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray who was accused of giving a hate speech. The case too was closed by police in mid-2016 for want of evidence.

First Published: Jan 15, 2019 12:31 IST