Ex-DU professor Geelani sent to two weeks judicial custody

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New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) A court here on Thursday sent, to two weeks judicial custody, former Delhi University (DU) professor S.A.R. Geelani, who was arrested on charges of sedition for allegedly organising an event at the Press Club to mark the death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Due to security concern, Geelani was not brought in Patiala House Court, where his remand proceedings was scheduled to take place and kept in a police station where a magistrate was called to conduct the proceedings.

According to sources, the magistrate remanded him to judicial custody till March 3.

Geelani also moved his bail application which will be heard on Friday, his defence counsel Satish Tamta said.

Police registered a first information report (FIR) on February 10 under sections dealing with sedition and criminal conspiracy over raising slogans by Kashmiri students in the club premises the same day to protest Afzal Guru’s execution.

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The FIR was filed on the basis of complaint made by the club.

Geelani’s arrest comes amid the raging row over the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who was arrested on February 12 on charges of sedition for allegedly raising anti-national slogans at an event organised at the varsity campus on February 9 against the hanging of Afzal Guru.

Police said that they have been analysing over five to six video clippings of both the events organised on the consecutive day on JNU campus and the PCI premises. Separate police teams have been conducting raids at different locations in Delhi and outside the city to arrest those who were also present at both the events.

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At the PCI, in which Geelani was present on the dais along with three other speakers, a group allegedly had raised slogans hailing Afzal Guru. Taking suo motu cognizance of the matter, police registered a case against Geelani and other unnamed people.

Police said that Geelani is presumed to be the “main organiser” of the event.

“During initial investigation, we learnt that a hall was booked in the Press Club on the request of Geelani,” a police officer said.

Police have also questioned Delhi University professor Ali Javed, a PCI member, under whose membership number, the hall for the event was booked. Javed was expelled by the PCI following the event.

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