The city police Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court challenging a trial court’s order discharging 11 people, including student activists Sharjeel Imam and Asif Iqbal Tanha, in the 2019 Jamia Nagar violence case.
The 11 people were discharged on February 4 by the trial court, which said they were made “scapegoats” by police and that dissent has to be encouraged, not stifled.
The trial court, however, ordered framing of charges against one of the accused, Mohammad Ilyas.
According to sources, the petition is yet to be cleared for listing before the high court.
An FIR was lodged in connection with the violence that erupted after a clash between police and people protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in the Jamia Nagar area here in December 2019.
Imam was accused of instigating the riots by delivering a provocative speech at the Jamia Milia University on December 13, 2019. He will continue to remain in jail as he is an accused in the larger conspiracy case of the 2020 northeast Delhi riots.
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The trial court had said there were admittedly scores of protesters at the site and some anti-social elements within the crowd could have created an environment of disruption and havoc.
“However, the moot question remains — whether the accused persons herein were even prima facie complicit in taking part in that mayhem? The answer is an unequivocal no,” it had added.
The Jamia Nagar police station had filed the charge sheet against Imam, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Safoora Zargar, Mohammad Qasim, Mahmood Anwar, Shahzar Raza Khan, Mohammad Abuzar, Mohammad Shoaib, Umair Ahmad, Bilal Nadeem, Chanda Yadav and Mohammad Ilyas.
The charge sheet was filed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
The charge sheet also included provisions of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.