SAR Geelani, Ex-Delhi University Teacher, Arrested For Sedition Over Afzal Guru Event

SAR Geelani was arrested in connection with the 2001 Parliament attack case, but was acquitted by the High Court in 2003 for want of evidence.

Highlights

  • Ex-DU teacher SAR Geelani arrested on sedition and other charges
  • Geelani was allegedly organising event in support of Afzal Guru
  • Arrest comes amid row over JNU student's arrest on sedition charges
New Delhi: Former Delhi University teacher SAR Geelani was arrested early this morning on sedition and other charges for allegedly organising an event in support of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, the Delhi Police has said. Mr Geelani was acquitted in the Parliament attack case in 2003.

After he was detained late last night, he was questioned at the Parliament Street police station. A senior police officer said the case was registered after examining media clips of the event that was held at the Press Club on February 10.

A Delhi court today sent him to police custody for two days.

Mr Geelani's arrest comes amid a raging controversy over the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University's student's union president Kanhaiya Kumar on sedition charges.

Mr Kumar was arrested for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans at a February 9 event at the campus which questioned the hanging of Afzal Guru three years ago.

Mr Kumar has denied any wrongdoing. Opposition parties allege that he was arrested without any evidence. The Delhi Police chief says that's incorrect.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that while no innocent person shall be harassed, the "guilty will not be spared" for anti-national activities.

On February 10, a group allegedly shouted anti-India slogans hailing Afzal Guru at the Delhi Press Club, following which the police registered a case of sedition, criminal conspiracy and unlawful assembly against Mr Geelani and other unnamed persons.

Mr Geelani, the police said, was the "main organiser" of the event. "The request for booking a hall for the event at the Press Club was done through Geelani's e-mail and the event was proposed to be a public meeting, which did not turn out to be so," a senior police officer said.

After a case was registered, the police questioned DU professor Ali Javed, a Press Club member, who had booked the hall for the event.

Mr Geelani was arrested in connection with the 2001 Parliament attack case, but was acquitted by the High Court in 2003 for want of evidence.  In August 2005, his acquittal was upheld by the Supreme Court, which, however, said that the "needle of suspicion" pointed towards him.
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