Sharjeel Imam Gets Bail in Key Case; Supporters See a Ray of Hope

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Student activist Sharjeel Imam

Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Incarcerated student activist Sharjeel Imam, who is considered to be one of the brains behind the Shaheen Bagh sit-in, has been granted bail in one of the many cases slapped on him under sedition charges. His brother Muzzamil Imam gave this news on Twitter.

Muzzamil posted a tweet saying his brother has been granted statutory bail in the FIR No. 1/2020, registered by Crime Branch, Guwahati, Assam Police.

Sharjeel Imam, a JNU student, was arrested in January after a speech of his went viral on social media in which he asked the people to block the North-East including Assam from mainland India.

Following this, police stations in Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi filed cases against Imam, charging him with criminal conspiracy, sedition and promoting enmity between groups based on religion through “provocative” statements.

Student activists and his supporters feel that this bail in Assam will pave way for Imam’s eventual release from jail as it will help him secure bail in other places too. Sharjeel Usmani, a student leader from Aligarh Muslim University, who has been consistently voicing concern over the incarceration of Imam, is hopeful of his release.

Usmani wrote: “Alhamdu’illah, Bhai Sharjeel Imam has been granted statutory bail in the FIR registered by Crime Branch, Guwahati. Insha’Allah, he will get bail in all other FIRs and be back amongst us.”

Imam, who was one of activists who participated in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), a controversial law, was subjected to a vicious public and media witch-hunt building the pressure on police to slap sedition charges for his speech. A part of his speech was taken by the police as a ‘threat’ to national security.

On April 29, the Delhi Police invoked the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against Imam.  On May 13, the Delhi High Court sought a response from the Delhi Police on a plea filed by Imam seeking default bail.

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