Delhi riots accused Sharjeel Imam tests Covid-19 positive

JNU student Sharjeel Imam

New Delhi, (Asian independent) Former JNU scholar Sharjeel Imam, an accused in the conspiracy behind the Delhi riots, has tested positive for Covid-19, his legal team said on Tuesday.

As per the conversation between Imam, who is in a jail in Guwahati, and his lawyers, he tested positive on Monday, a member of Imam’s legal team told IANS over phone.

“I am unwell, weak and also feeling shortness of breath and weakness; I would like to bring it to the attention of the authorities to shift me and other inmates to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital so that we would be provided with proper medical and health facilities,” Imam told his legal team.

Imam is currently lodged in a jail in Guwahati in connection with a case relating to an alleged inflammatory speech given by him during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

A member of his legal team informed that during the interview, Imam has stated that the Guwahati Central Jail is overcrowded and social distancing norms are also not being complied with.

Imam’s legal team alleged that the authorities had earlier decided that inmates will be treated inside the jail premises and therefore, a makeshift hospital was set up. “But medical facilities are not being provided and there has been no medicine or oxygen,” the lawyer said.

Earlier this month, the Delhi High Court dismissed his petition challenging a trial court’s order granting more time to complete the probe against him and also seeking default bail in a case pertaining to giving an inflammatory speech during the anti-CAA protests.

Imam came into the eye of a storm for his speech in Delhi’s Jamia over Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) on December 13 and subsequently on January 16 at Aligarh Muslim University, where he allegedly threatened to “cut off” Assam and the rest of the northeast from the country. A case of sedition was filed against him. He also figures in the Delhi riots charge sheet.

A team of Delhi Police’s Special Cell had reached Guwahati on Friday to take him back to the capital where he was scheduled to be produced before a court on July 25.

Sharjeel and the Delhi Police team were tested for Covid-19 before their departure from Guwahati but while the police team tested negative, he tested positive. This has delayed his transfer, an official source said.