Monday, December 11, 2023

Sharjeel Usmani sent to judicial custody in cases related with AMU anti-CAA protests

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Student activist Sharjeel Usmani, arrested by UP police last evening, was produced in court and sent to 14-days judicial custody on Thursday.

Usmani has been arrested related to 4 cases of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in Aligarh Muslim University campus on 15 December last year.

“Sharjeel was wanted in five criminal cases registered against him, including the one on attacking on police during anti-CAA protest at the AMU main gate on December 15,” Aligarh Additional Superintendent of Police(Crime) Arvind Kumar said.

Bail application to be moved, sources related to Usmani told Maktoob.

Usmani, national secretary of Fraternity Movement has been at the forefront face of the anti-CAA-NRC-NPR protests and vocal critic of the BJP led the Hindu nationalist government.

Sharjeel was flagged by OpIndia, a right-wing propaganda web portal for his dissenting views and solidarity social media post for Sharjeel Imam.

Usmani is an independent researcher and has contributed articles to Firstpost, DailyO, Maktoob, and Newslaundry.

No arrest warrant, police creates chaos inside the home: Family

Usmani’s friends told Maktoob that his family couldn’t meet him as they had no information he was being brought to court.

Since last night, UP police kept denying any knowledge of the student activist’s arrest.

Usmani was picked up by five plainclothed policemen from his maternal family house in Sidhari, Azamgarh.

According to family, a group of men claiming to be Crime Branch barged inside the house and detained him. Upon asking why they were here, one member said, ‘You don’t need to know. Sharjeel knows why we’re here’, pointing to Usmani, who was along with them, hand-tied and head down

He also stated no female officer, if they indeed were officers, was present, but there were women, such as Usmani’s maternal aunt, who were forced to be photographed.

“They confiscated his laptop, all his books, and a solitary set of clothes. Each of us was made to stand and be photographed, stating our relation to him”, Usmani’s brother Areeb claimed.

Aligarh CAA protest, no students guilty: NHRC findings

Usmani’s advocates present in court have informed that he is being charged in 4 cases and one among them is a case related to the violence that happened in AMU on 15 December.

On 15 Dec, students of Aligarh Muslim University protesting against the CAA were attacked severely by police at a campus gate after which police used batons and tear gas to disperse them.

Videos received from students and teachers showed police brutality inside the University campus and even inside the hostel rooms. The cops also set hostel rooms on fire, students said.

In total more than 100 students were reportedly injured.

Days after the 15 Dec incident, Allahabad High Court had by an order asked the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to conduct an enquiry for alleged human rights violations against protesting students at Aligarh Muslim University.

In pursuance to the above, an enquiry was conducted by a 6 member team of NHRC.

NHRC had directed the UP government to provide a suitable compensation to the six students who have been grievously injured commensurate with their injuries, on humanitarian grounds.

It also directed the UP DGP to identify the policemen (both district police and PAC), as seen in CCTV footages involved in stray incidents of damaging motorcycles and unnecessarily caning the apprehended students which has no bearing on the task of controlling law and order. 

” A suitable action may also be taken against them as per rules and provisions that exist for subordinate officers in UP Police. The police force should be sensitized and special training modules be carried out to inculcate professionalism in handling such situations,” the rights commission said.

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