The student activist was picked up by U.P. ATS on Wednesday

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

Lawyer Ale Nabi, who represented Mr. Usmani, said they would seek bail when the court opens 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.

Mr. Usmani was picked up from the home of his maternal uncle in Azamgarh by the U.P. ATS in connection with two cases registered in Aligarh for allegedly inciting 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.

‘Ex-student of AMU’

While the university administration considers him as an ex-student, his relatives and friends claimed he was a student of AMU 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 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 plain clothes 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, that an inspector from a local police station called up to say that his son had been produced in court.

Dr. Usmani said his son was named in the FIR filed against students in connection with anti-CAA protests in AMU. “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,” he said.

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