Sharjeel Imam, Safoora Zargar, other students discharged in 2019 anti-CAA protest violence case

A Delhi court discharged student activists Sharjeel Imam, Safoora Zargar, Asif Iqbal Tanha and other students in December 2019 Jamia violence case.

Sharjeel Imam, Safoora Zargar, other students discharged in 2019 anti-CAA protest violence case Sharjeel Imam, Safoora Zargar, other students discharged in Jamia violence case (Image Source: Official Twitter Account)
Vagisha Kaushik | Feb 4, 2023 - 4:10 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: A Delhi court today released Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Sharjeel Imam and Jamia Millia Islamia students in a case related to violence during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in December 2019. The court discharged student activists Sharjeel Imam, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Safoora Zargar, Mohd Abuzar, Umair Ahmed, Mohd Shoaib, Mahmood Anwar, Mohd Qasim, Mohd Bilal Nadeem, Shahzar Raza Khan and Chanda Yadav in Jamia violence case, as per Live Law. However, Imam will continue to remain in jail as he is an accused in the larger conspiracy case of the 2020 northeast Delhi riots.

Additional Sessions Judge Arul Verma observed, “Mere presence at protest sites without overt acts cannot implicate them.” The court arrived at the conclusion that the police were unable to apprehend the actual perpetrators behind commission of the offence, but surely managed to rope these persons as scapegoats.

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While discharging the students, the ASJ said, “Delhi Police has arbitrarily chosen to array some people from crowd as accused and others as police witnesses. This “cherry picking” is detrimental to precept of fairness.”

“In the present case, the investigative agencies should have incorporated the use of technology, or have gathered credible intelligence, and then only should have embarked on galvanizing the judicial system qua the accused herein. Else, it should have abstained from filing such an ill-conceived chargesheets qua persons whose role was confined only to being a part of a protest,” it added.

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Of those involved in anti-CAA protests discharged by the court today, Chanda and Shoaib are activists of All India Students’ Union (AISA). N Sai Balaji, national president of the students' organisation shared the news and tweeted, "Big news! In of the FIR's lodged by Delhi police for anti-CAA protests on Dec 13th 2019. Saket court has discharged all Jamia students including 2 AISA activists Chanda & Shoaib & rubbished Delhi Police false charges. Thanks to our Lawyer Aditya Wadhwa & his team including Ayush."

The protest against CAA had turned violent on the night of December 14, 2019 and the police had baton-charged protesters and shot tear gas shells at them. Police had registered an FIR under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including rioting, in connection with the communal violence that erupted after a clash between police and people protesting against CAA.

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