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Elgar Parishad event: 'BJP inspired' FIRs against ex-Aligarh varsity student leader

By Our Representative 

The civil rights network, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO), even as demanding the quashing of FIRs against Sharjeel Usmani, a former Aligarh Muslim student leader, for his speech at the January 30, 2021 Elgaar Parishad event in Pune, has said that there is “no basis for them”, asserting, Usmani had showed his speech to three separate Supreme Court lawyers, all of whom said that “not one word in the entire speech can be commissioned as an offence in any Indian court”.
In a statement, NCHRO said, Usmani’s was an important speech, as it mentioned the kind of injustices that have been happening in the country. “While the justice-loving people would appreciate and support his speech, the government has been after him, trying to set an example and intimidate people into silence”, the rights group insisted.
Calling the FIRs part of the “authoritarian tactics of the BJP government”, NCHRO said, all the 14 speeches at the event were “political”, and were about “the abysmal state of affairs in the country today”, yet, following the speech by Usmani, “two FIRs were registered against him.”
One of them was on February 2, under Section 153 A (promoting enmity on grounds of religion) on the basis of a complaint registered by advocate Pradeep Gawade, who is the secretary of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and a former member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Another, registered in UP, was was registered after Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil wrote a letter to the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
The second FIR was registered under IPC sections 124 A (sedition), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups), 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 298 (uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings) along with sections of the IT Act.
According to the NCHRO statement, signed by advocate Amit Srivastav, president, Delhi state committee, NCHRO, “Usmani is known for his presence in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register for Citizens (anti-CAA-NRC) protests that had gripped the country in 2019 and early 2020. It’s clear that the government has a problem with anyone who speaks for justice.”
It adds, “When one takes a look at Usmani’s speech, it becomes clear that the charges leveled at him are done so because he had called out the condition of the country today. There was nothing whatsoever in his speech that can be called seditious. Besides, the law of sedition is one that does not deserve a place in a democratic constitution. It is a draconian act that has its roots in colonial India.”

Comments

Anonymous said…
The Elgar Parishad story is slowly unravelling. Planted information - incitement - communal stands. The lower courts have a difficult time while the SC fiddles with lives.

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