Sharjeel Imam alleges he was assaulted in jail, approaches court

New Delhi: Former JNU student Sharjeel Imam, an accused in a case related to the alleged conspiracy behind the 2020 Northeast Delhi riots, on Monday moved a Delhi court alleging harassment and assault by Tihar Jail officials.

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He, through his lawyer Ahmad Ibrahim, alleged that the Assistant Superintendent of Tihar Jail along with 8-9 convicts had entered his cell in the garb of a search assaulted him and called him a terrorist and anti-national.

The Additional Session Judge Amitabh Rawat on Monday sought a response from Tihar Jail Authorities and kept the matter for July 14, 2022, for a detailed hearing.

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Imam’s application Karkardooma Court read, “On June 30, at around 7:30 PM, the Assistant Superintendant along with 8-9 convicts came to the cell of the applicant in the name of carrying out a search. Search operation is not permissible by the convicts and can only be carried out by competent staff. During the aforesaid search, the petitioner’s books and clothes were thrown away, assaulted and called a terrorist and an anti-national when he tried to protect his belongings.”

Sharjeel sought direction to the concerned authorities to take appropriate steps to protect him of any assault and harassment in the future.

On June 10, a Delhi court adjourned the order on the interim bail plea of Sharjeel Imam in the sedition case. The court is likely to pronounce the order on July 7, 2022.

Imam has been accused of making inflammatory speeches against the government on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens (NRC), particularly at Jamia Milia Islamia University in December 2019, which allegedly led to violence in the area outside the university.

He is facing sedition charges for his alleged inflammatory speeches and is in judicial custody since January 2020.

The Supreme Court had in May directed that Section 124A, IPC, be kept in abeyance and asked the Centre as well as the state governments to refrain from registering any case for the offence of sedition under this section.

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