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"Sharjeel Imam Challenged Sovereignty Of India, Tried To Imbibe Sense Of Hopelessness In Muslims": Prosecution Tells Delhi Court In Riots Case

Nupur Thapliyal
2 Sep 2021 9:36 AM GMT
Sharjeel Imam Challenged Sovereignty Of India, Tried To Imbibe Sense Of Hopelessness In Muslims: Prosecution Tells Delhi Court In Riots Case
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The prosecution on Thursday told a Delhi Court that Sharjeel Imam, while making the alleged seditious speeches in January last year against the Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC, challenged the sovereignty of India and also tried to imbibe a 'sense of hopelessness and insecurity' in Muslims that they have no hope left in the Country.Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat was hearing the...

The prosecution on Thursday told a Delhi Court that Sharjeel Imam, while making the alleged seditious speeches in January last year against the Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC, challenged the sovereignty of India and also tried to imbibe a 'sense of hopelessness and insecurity' in Muslims that they have no hope left in the Country.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat was hearing the case concerning Sharjeel Imam in relation to the speeches made by him in Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia area in Delhi against the CAA under FIR 22/2020 registered by the Delhi Police under sec. 124A, 153A, 505 of the IPC along with sec. 13 of the UAPA which was added later.

Reading out the speech made by Sharjeel on January 22, 2020 in Asansol, Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad submitted that he specified that people were not on roads due to CAA or NRC but because of other issues.

"He has made it abundantly clear that CAA or NRC is not the issue. Issues were triple talaq, Kashmir for which the mobilization was happening. Also in past speeches, he has given a clear indication that everything is over, as muslims you have no hope," Prasad submitted.

He also submitted that Sharjeel, in the speech, said that other countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan etc. will have a say in the issue of CAA and NRC and therefore he will not listen to the Government of India.

"That is why he says this is the issue of 5-6 countries and I'll not listen to the Indian government. Is he not challenging the sovereignty? He says Indian Govt cannot formulate the law in India. That is what he questions," Prasad argued.
"This is what I'm trying to say, he is trying to imbibe a sense of hopelessness that we have no hope left," he added.

Prasad also read specific portion of the speech wherein Sharjeel had allegedly said "Detention camp ko jala de (Put detention camp on fire)".

"What could be more to say that he is inciting violence?" Prasad submitted at the outset.
"Again the sense of dissatisfaction and insecurity that there is no hope left, is precisely what he is trying to say," he said.

While taking the Court through the speech, Prasad insisted on the fact that Sharjeel had gone from place to place in order to give similar speeches on CAA and NRC.

He also argued that the Delhi Riots happened four weeks/28-29 days after his speeches at Asansol and Jharkhand dated January 22 and 23 last year.

Reading out the speech given by Sharjeel on January 23, 2020 in Jharkhand, Prasad read the portion wherein he said "aawaam me jo gussa hain, use istemaal kiya jaaye (Public's anger must be used)."

"First step is to bring people together, give them anger from within and then utilize it. And we must keep in mind that he is somebody who has done his thesis on riots. He knows what he is saying. He is not someone like me who doesn't know how to do it," Prasad submitted.

Yesterday, while relying on the speech given by Sharjeel in Aligarh Muslim University, the Prosecution had contended that Imam opened his speech with the words 'As-salamu alaykum' which is enough to show that it was addressed to a particular community and not to the public at large.

He added that Sharjeel attempted to provoke the crowd by stating that the 'public anger needs to be used in a productive manner' (Agar Aawam gusse me hai, toh is gusse ka productive use karna hai).

Earlier, seeking bail in the case, Sharjeel had told the Court there was nothing in the speeches which called for any violence or which can invoke sedition charge against him. He also emphasized that the speech was made amid a group of scholars as part of an "intellectual debate" and he cannot be prosecuted merely for holding a viewpoint which is different from that of the Government.

"Critical elements in our society are also necessary because in a society where criticism will die, the society will die. That is why, ultimately, the flag to uphold the constitution in a democracy securely lies in your honours' hands...Courageous men in this country will not be slapped with sedition. This is what our solemn duty is. Sharjeel Imam's view is not hostile," Advocate Mir had submitted.

He had also claimed that the investigative authority had taken "selective passages and lines" from the speech made by him and have given an illegal context to it by cut-pasting the same.

The matter will now be heard on Saturday at 11:30 AM by the Court.

Case Title: State v. Sharjeel Imam

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