Former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani has been booked for sedition in connection with an event at Press Club of India here, in which a group shouted slogans hailing Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
“An FIR has been registered against Geelani and other unnamed persons under Sections 124A (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of IPCin connection with the event at the Press Club in which anti-India sloganeering took place,” DCP (New Delhi) Jatin Narwal said.
The action against Geelani, who was acquitted in the Parliament attack case, comes even as Delhi Police yesterday registered a case of sedition in connection with a Tuesday event at JNU campus here against the hanging of Afzal Guru following complaints by BJP MP Maheish Girri and ABVP.
The police today claimed to have registered the sedition case against Geelani and others after taking suo motu cognizance of media clips of the incident.
“By the time we registered the case, we had received no complaints from any party,” Narwal said.
Police also claimed that Geelani was booked as he is presumed to be the main organiser of the event.
“Request for booking a hall at press club was done through Geelani’s e-mail and the nature of the event was proposed to be a public meeting,” Narwal said.
Calls and text messages to Geelani for his comments went unanswered.
“We are monitoring video footage and trying to ascertain the identity of the ones involved in anti-India sloganeering. We shall question several individuals who were present at the event,” a senior official said.
Press Club of India yesterday issued a show-cause notice to the member who had booked the conference hall for the event on Wednesday.
“At the outset, we strongly condemn the incident that happened on Press Club premises by miscreants yesterday. We have taken strong action against the member under whose signature the conference hall was hired. A show-cause notice has been served and further action will follow,” Secretary General of the Press Club, Nadeem Ahmad Kazmi, had said.
When contacted, Professor Ali Javed of Delhi University, the member of the club who had booked the premises for the presser, distanced himself from the event, saying he does not approve of the sloganeering and he was not one of the organisers.
Geelani was acquitted by the Delhi High Court in October 2003, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in August 2005 which at the same time observed that the needle of suspicion pointed towards him.