SAR Geelani, Former DU Lecturer, Arrested On Sedition Charges

16/02/2016 7:56 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
PRAKASH SINGH via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA: Indian university professor S.A.R. Geelani gestures as he addresses a press conference in New Delhi, 04 August 2005. India's Supreme Court confirmed the death penalty of Mohammad Afzal who was convicted in a December 2001 attack on India's parliament that pushed nuclear rivals India and Pakistan to the brink of war. The sentence of Shaukat Hussain who was convicted and sentenced to death by a high court was commuted to 10 year in prison. His wife and Delhi University Professor Geelani had lower court acquittals upheld by the Supreme Court, Press Trust of India said.Five armed rebels stormed the parliament on 13 December 2001, killing eight police officers and a gardener before they were shot dead by security forces. A journalist wounded in the attack died months later of his wounds. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani was arrested on Tuesday on sedition and other charges in connection with an event in New Delhi in which anti-India slogans were raised, police said.

"Geelani was arrested around 3 AM at the Parliament Street police station under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 149 (unlawful assembly)," DCP (New Delhi) Jatin Narwal said.

Geelani was called to the police station last night where he was detained and questioned for several hours, and later arrested. After his arrest, he was taken to RML Hospital for a medical examination, he said.

His arrest comes amid the raging row over the arrest of JNU students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar over sedition charges in connection with an event on 9 February against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

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At a Press Club event on 10 February, in which Geelani was present on the dais along with three other speakers, a group allegedly had shouted slogans hailing Afzal Guru. Taking suo motu cognisance of the matter, the police registered a case against Geelani and other unnamed persons on 12 February.

Police had claimed that Geelani was booked as he is presumed to be the "main organiser" of the event.

"Request for booking a hall at the Press Club was done through Geelani's e-mail and the nature of the event was proposed to be a public meeting, which did not turn out to be so," a senior official had said.

Following the registration of the FIR, the police questioned for two consecutive days DU professor Ali Javed, a Press Club member, under whose membership number the hall for the event was booked.

In 2001, Geelani was arrested by Delhi Police in connection with the Parliament attack case but acquitted for "need of evidence" by the Delhi High Court in October 2003, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in August 2005, which at the same time had observed that the needle of suspicion pointed towards him.

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