New Delhi, August 24 (KMS): Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Sharjeel Imam, arrested for allegedly making inflammatory speeches during the protests against anti-citizenship laws, CAA and NRC, told a Delhi court on Monday that he cannot be hammered with sedition as his speeches did not call for violence.
Imam has moved the court seeking bail in a case related to speeches made by him at two universities in 2019, where he allegedly threatened to “cut off” Assam and the rest of the Northeast from India. He has been arrested under UAPA and sedition.
During the hearing, advocate Tanveer Ahmed Mir, representing the accused, apprised Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat that no part of his speech called for any kind of violence to be initiated.
“When Sharjeel Imam says that this piece of legislation (CAA/NRC) is unconstitutional, and seeks to persuade the government to rethink and says if you don’t do it, we will be on the streets, he cannot be hammered by sedition,” the counsel asserted.
He further said that the right to protest, the right to blockade, and the right to bring the country to a standstill are not equal to an act of sedition.
“The speech did not call for violence. He just called for a road blockade. He did not say that the northeast should become a different state and declare independence. That would have been seditious,” advocate Mir added.