SAR Geelani, the former Delhi University lecturer, was on Tuesday arrested on sedition and other charges in connection with an event at a Press Club here in which anti-India slogans were raised. "Geelani was arrested at around 3 am at the Parliament Street police station under IPC Sections 124A (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 149 (unlawful assembly)," news agency PTI quoted DCP (New Delhi) Jatin Narwal as saying. He will be produced before a Delhi court today.
The former DU lecturer was summoned to the police station on Monday night where he was detained and questioned for several hours, and later arrested. After his arrest, he was taken to Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital for a medical examination, he said. His arrest comes amid the raging row over the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar over sedition charges in connection with an event on February 9 against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
At a Press Club event on February 10, in which Geelani was present on the dais along with three other speakers, a group allegedly had shouted slogans hailing Afzal Guru. Taking suo motu cognisance of the matter, the police registered a case against Geelani and other unnamed persons on February 12. Police had claimed that Geelani was booked as he is presumed to be the "main organiser" of the event. "Request for booking a hall at the Press Club was done through Geelani's e-mail and the nature of the event was proposed to be a public meeting, which did not turn out to be so," a senior official had said.
Following the registration of the FIR, the police questioned for two consecutive days DU professor Ali Javed, a Press Club member, under whose membership number the hall for the event was booked. In 2001, Geelani was arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with the Parliament attack case but acquitted for "need of evidence" by the Delhi High Court in October 2003, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in August 2005, which at the same time had observed that the needle of suspicion pointed towards him.