Muslim student leader Sharjeel Usmani has approached the Bombay High Court for quashing the FIR registered against him in Pune for his speech at Elgar Parishad 2021.
On February 2 2021, the Pune Police booked Usmani under Section 153 (A) of the Indian Penal Code, at the Swargate Police Station in Pune.
Complaint against Usmani was lodged by Pradeep Gawade, regional secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Gawde is a former member of ABVP, the student’s wing of the far-right Hindu group RSS.
Gawade alleged that Usmani made a provocative and offensive statement against the Hindu community, Indian judiciary, and parliament.
Usmani has denied these allegations and said that that the FIR is frivolous, baseless and has been registered on the basis of a select few statements taken “out of context.”
“It is a settled position of law that the effects of that words must be judge from the standards of reasonable, strong-minded, firm and courageous men and not those who scent danger in every hostile point of view,” Usmani said in the plea.
Earlier, in February, Usmani was booked for sedition and several other charges in Lucknow’s Hazratganj police station.
Elgar Parishad has extended support to Usmani and said, “We condemn those Brahminvadi’s who have targeted, abused, made threats to life, and burnt effigies of Sharjeel Usmani by crudely reducing him just to his Muslim identity. We are firmly standing with Sharjeel Usmani. Here we are declaring that we will intensify our efforts to struggle for annihilation of caste-class-patriarchy and Islamophobia.”