Sharjeel Imam tests positive for COVID-19

Jawaharlal Nehru University research scholar Sharjeel Imam, who is currently lodged in the Guwahati Central Jail in Assam, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Sharjeel Imam and the Delhi Police team were screened for novel coronvirus before his transfer to Delhi.

While the officers tested negative, Imam tested positive.

On July 17, members of Delhi Police Special Cell had reached Assam to take Imam’s custody and bring him back to Delhi.  He will be brought on a production warrant to Delhi and then will be arrested by the cell.

“We have now decided to delay Sharjeel Imam’s transfer till he is cured of the disease and his report is negative,” police sources said.

“My brother Sharjeel Imam has been tested positive for coronavirus,” Imam’s brother Muzzammil Imam tweeted.

“Hundreds of positive patients are being forced to live in inhumane condition inside the jail premises itself,” he further said.

Sharjeel Imam, a student of JNU who initiated the historic Shaheen Bagh anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest sit-in, is currently in Guwahati jail with several cases against him in five states for a speech which he called for a road blockade as a method of protest against CAA.

Sharjeel is facing charges of sedition and other grave crimes.

Last week, Assam activist Akhil Gogoi, who was lodged at the same jail has also tested positive for the coronavirus. 

According to officials, 435 inmates of Guwahati’s Central jail, which has around 1,000 inmates, have tested Covid-19 positive to date.

Most of the inmates of the jail have recovered and 154 is yet to recover from their viral infection.

The Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has issued a notice on Monday to the state government directing it to submit a report by August 5 on the condition of inmates lodged at jails in light of the spiralling COVID-19 cases.