New DelhiP: A Delhi court on Thursday extended till October 22 the judicial custody of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) research scholar Sharjeel Imam, arrested under the anti-terror law, in connection with the communal violence in the Northeast area of the national capital in February.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police had arrested Sharjeel on August 25 under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in connection with the riots, a day after being brought to the capital city from a jail in Assam on a production warrant.
Sharjeel, an IIT graduate, currently a PhD student at the JNU's Centre for Historical Studies, was produced before the court through video conferencing from jail number one of the Tihar complex at the end of a month-long judicial custody.
"Never have I understood why I am in the case," Sharjeel's counsel Surbhi Dhar said on the behalf of her client. She also opposed the extension of judicial remand and protested why the remand copy has not been supplied to them.
The case pertains to a 'conspiracy' to incite the riots, which had left 53 people dead and 748 injured. Even though the police have filed a voluminous charge sheet in the matter, his name is not mentioned in it and will be added in the supplementary charge sheet.
Imam was a volunteer at Shaheen Bagh, the locality in South Delhi where women have been staging a protest against the amended Citizenship Act and proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens for over 40 days now. His association with the protest was shortlived. On January 2, heannounced that the protest had been withdrawn in anticipation of violence, but the women protestors in Shaheen Bagh denied this. The protest continued.
The cases are based on a video that purportedly shows Imam making a speech at Aligarh Muslim University on January 16.
"If we can organise five lakh people then we can permanently cut India and the North East, if not permanently then at least for a month or so," Imam appears to say in a video recording of the speech, which went viral only after the cases were booked against him.
In the 40-minute long speech, Imam criticised Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, former JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar. He expressed disagreement with those from JNU and Jamia University who were advocating broad-based protests against the Citizenship Act.