CAA protests: Sharjeel sent to day-long custody; HC notice to Centre, state

File photo of Sharjeel Imam, who was sent to a day-long Delhi Police custody on February 17. Photo: Facebook
A Delhi court on Monday gave Delhi Police day-long custody of Sharjeel Imam, who has also been booked under sedition charges, in a case related to violent protests at New Friends Colony against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act on December 15 last year. 

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gurmohina Kaur gave the order after the police said they wanted to quiz Imam after an accused alleged in his disclosure that he was provoked by Imam's speeches. The court granted custody to the police after they had questioned Imam in the court for half an hour.

According to PTI, the police said that a large gathering assembled near Escort Hospital at New Friends Colony to protest against the newly amended citizenship law on December 15 last year. 

"The gathering was warned by the police not to take law in their hands but they kept raising anti-CAA slogans. The unruly mob, armed with sticks, started targeting members of the public and attacked vehicles. On identification, accused Furkan was arrested in the case. He disclosed that he was provoked by the speeches given by accused Sharjeel (Imam)," PTI quoted the Delhi Police as saying.

HC issues notice to Centre, AAP govt over Jamia student's plea

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court sought response from the Centre and the Delhi government over a Jamia student’s plea seeking compensation for injuries suffered in the alleged police action against anti-CAA protesters. 

In his plea, filed through advocate Nabila Hasan, Shayaan Mujeeb contended that he was in the university library on December 15, 2019, studying, when police personnel entered the building and allegedly beat up students there. Apart from seeking a Rs 2-crore compensation for the injuries suffered, he has also sought registration of an FIR for offences allegedly committed by the police.

File photo of students during anti-CAA protests. Photo: Twitter

A Bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar was initially of the view that the petitioner ought to have filed a civil suit if he was seeking compensation, as the claims made by him would have to be proved through evidence which could not be done in a writ petition. "These are matters of evidence. Why are you not filing a suit for damages? On the basis of annexures in a writ, claims cannot be proved," the court said, adding that "it has become a fashion in Delhi to file a writ for everything".

The court decision came a day after a new CCTV footage emerged showing police personnel storming into Jamia library and attacking students. A political slugfest began over the video, with the Congress targeting the BJP, saying "there is something seriously wrong with the government." The BJP, on the other hand, condemned the Congress for "giving political colour" to the violence, alleging that its leaders always rallied against security forces and stood with those who were inimical to the country.

Talking about another video, in which people were seen in the gangway with some covering their faces, and at least two of them carrying stones, BJP Leader G V L Narasimha Rao asked why students were wearing masks and what they were studying with stones in their hands. "Which academic discipline requires students to wear masks and hold stones while studying," he asked.

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