‘Can’t blur lines between rioters and…’: Court acquits Sharjeel Imam

A Delhi court has acquitted Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Sharjeel Imam in the case 2019 jamia violence case, The violence erupted after clashes between police and people protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Sharjeel got bail in 2021.

The court acquitted 11 people, including Sharjeel Imam, in the case and said Delhi Police was unable to nab the real culprits, dubbing the accused as “scapegoats”.

However, the court ordered framing of charges against one of the accused, Mohammad Ilyas.

Additional Sessions Judge Arul Verma said, “Considering the facts emerging from the perusal of the charge sheet and the three supplementary charge sheets, this court has come to the conclusion that the police were unable to nab the actual perpetrators behind the commission of the offence, but certainly here Succeeded in making people scapegoats.”

The judge said that it can be assumed that there were a large number of protesters at the spot and some anti-social elements within the crowd could have created an atmosphere of disturbance and mayhem.

“However, the contentious question remains – were the persons accused here even prima facie involved in participating in that catastrophe? The answer to this is a clear no,” he added.

“Needless to say, the investigating agency has not been deterred from conducting further investigation in an unbiased manner…to book the real perpetrators, not to blur the lines between dissidents and rioters, and so forth To stop making allegations from innocent protesters,” he said.

The police had registered an FIR under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including rioting, in connection with the communal violence that broke out one after the other. Clashes between police and protesting people against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

According to the prosecution, Imam had allegedly delivered speeches at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 13, 2019, and at Aligarh Muslim University on December 16, 2019, where he threatened to cut off Assam and the rest of the Northeast from India.

(with inputs from agencies)

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