FIR filed against AMU student Sharjeel Usmani in Pune over Elgar speech

Pune (Maharashtra): Pune City Police on Tuesday filed an FIR against former Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) student Sharjeel Usmani for a speech he delivered at an Elgar Parishad event here.

The complaint was filed by Pradip Gawade, Pune regional secretary of Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and using objectionable words against a particular community.

Usmani had attended the Elgar Parishad event organised at Pune’s Ganesh Kala Krida Manch on January 30. Soon after, a video of him allegedly using objectionable words against the Hindu community went viral and demand for stern action against him was raised.

Sharjeel Usmani

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders called for stern action against the AMU alumnus. They also threatened to protest if action is not taken by the state government.

Former chief minister and Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra assembly Devendra Fadnavis had also written a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray asking him to book and arrest Usmani.

The Elgar Parishad event on December 31, 2017 organised by the Kabir Kala Manch at Shaniwarwada became controversial after provocative speeches were allegedly made in the event promoting enmity between people. It allegedly triggered the violence in Bhima Koregaon the next day.

Sharjeel Usmani

The police investigation further found Maoist links in the Elgar Parishad 2017, leading to the arrest of 16 activists alleged to have links with the banned Maoist party.

Hyderabad-based poet Varavara Rao, Advocate Sudha Bhardwaj, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde are among the accused who have been arrested in the case which is now being investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

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