National

Anti-CAA protests: Student activist Sharjeel Usmani picked up by U.P. police

Sent to 14-day judicial custody. Charges are serious, says his lawyer

Student activist Sharjeel Usmani, who was picked up by UP Anti-Terrorist Squad from Azamgarh on Wednesday, was presented in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Aligarh on Thursday evening and was sent to 14-day judicial custody, police said.

Lawyer Ale Nabi, who represented Mr. Usmani, said they would seek bail when the court would open on Monday. “The charges are serious as Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 153 (promoting enmity), 506 (criminal intimidation), apart from several other Sections have been invoked against him but I am sure we would get bail,” said Mr. Nabi.

Held in connection with two cases

Mr. Usmani was picked up from the home of his maternal uncle in connection with two cases registered in Aligarh for inciting the Aligarh Muslim University students during the Anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests that led to a clash with the Aligarh police on December 15, 2019, leaving several students and policemen injured.

While the university administration considers him an ex-student, his relatives and friends claimed he was a student as he had a backlog in one of the papers in B.A. (Political Science).

Mr. Usmani’s father Tariq Usmani, who teaches geography in the AMU, told The Hindu that for almost 24 hours he had no idea where his son was. “My younger son Areeb, who was also in Azamgarh with Sharjeel, told me over the phone that five policemen in plainclothes picked up Sharjeel when he went out to have tea. They brought him to the residence and confiscated his laptop and books. The family members were photographed but when they asked the purpose they were told that Sharjeel knew about it.”

It was only in the evening on Thursday, Dr. Usmani said, an inspector from a local police station called up to say that his son had been produced in court.

He writes for two news portals: Father

Dr. Usmani said his son was named in the FIR filed against students in connection with the anti-CAA protest. “He is a student of political science and writes for two reputed news portals. But these days writing something against the popular narrative is considered illegal.”

Earlier, he said, the police raided his residence in Aligarh when they confused him with Sharjeel Imam.

Muniraj P, Senior SP, Aligarh, said he was arrested in a joint operation of the Azamgarh ATS and the Aligarh police.

Apart from the anti-CAA protest case where he is charged with inciting violence, destroying public property and obstructing officials in carrying out their duty, the senior police official said Mr. Usmani was also wanted in three more cases, including an objectionable social media post against senior BJP leader L.K. Advani. The police official refused to believe that his family didn’t know about his arrest. “We will inform them, officially,” he said.

Faizul Hasan, former AMU Students’ Union president said, “It was a move to divert attention from the Vikas Dubey episode.”

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 3:22:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/anti-caa-protests-student-activist-sharjeel-usmani-picked-up-by-up-police/article32034818.ece

Next Story