Saturday, April 13, 2024

Delhi HC sets aside discharge of student leaders in Jamia CAA protest case

The student leaders include Safoora Zargar, Sharjeel Imam, Aasif Iqbal Tanha, Chanda Yadav, Mohd Abuzar, Umair Ahmad, Mohd Shoaib, Mahmood Anwar, Mohd Qasim, Bilal Nadeem and Shahzar Raza Khan

The Delhi high court on Tuesday set aside the trial court’s discharge of student leaders Sharjeel Imam, Safoora Zargar, Asif Iqbal Tanha and eight others in the Jamia violence case of 2019 while charging them under rioting, unlawful assembly and other offences.

The court said that prima facie, as seen in video the student leaders were in the first line of the mob and they were raising slogans of “Delhi police murdabad”, adding that they consciously chose to be a part of the unlawful assembly. 

Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma in her judgment said that the students were carrying dandas in their hands and climbed the barricades to march towards Parliament despite several warnings by the police.

The student leaders include Safoora Zargar, Sharjeel Imam, Aasif Iqbal Tanha, Chanda Yadav, Mohd Abuzar, Umair Ahmad, Mohd Shoaib, Mahmood Anwar, Mohd Qasim, Bilal Nadeem and Shahzar Raza Khan.

According to Live Law, the HC has said that charges be framed against Mohd Qasim, Mahmood Anwar, Shahzar Raza Khan, Umar Ahmad, Mohd. Bilal Nadeem, Sharieel Imam and Chanda Yadav under sections 143, 147,149, 1 86,353,427 of IPC including section 3 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. They have been discharged of rest of the offences as per FIR.

The Court has also discharged Asif lqbal Tanha under sections 308, 323, 341, 435 of IPC. It has said that charges be framed under other offences have against him. The bench also said that charges against accused Mohd. Abuzar and Mohd. Shoaib be framed under sec. 143 of IPC. They have been discharged under other offences.

The eleven students were among the student leaders who led the historic protest against CAA, NRC and NPR in 2019 winter. Dozens of student leaders and Muslim activists were arrested under draconian charges following the protests. Many of them are still in jail.

The trial court, on 4 February, discharged 11 accused, including Imam, Zargar and Tanha, challenging which the Delhi police approached the high court.

The students were cleared by the sessions court, which stated that the police had unfairly made them into “scapegoats” and emphasized the importance of promoting dissent instead of suppressing it.

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