Bhima-Koregaon Violence: Sharjeel Usmani moves HC
against FIR for hate speech

Claiming that the FIR filed against him for his alleged hate speech during the Elgar Parishad meet in Pune's Bhima-Koregaon area, is "frivolous" the alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) - Sharjeel Usmani has approached the Bombay High Court seeking to quash the FIR registered against him. A bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Manish Pitale would hear his plea by next week.

According to Sharjeel, the Swargate police in Pune has "picked up" certain statements from his speech and lodged a case under section 153 (A) of the Indian Penal Code, which penalises any act that creates or attempts to create enmity between two groups on the basis of religion, caste, creed, race, gender etc.

Notably, the AMU alumni is booked for allegedly making derogatory remarks against the Hindu community, Indian judiciary and even the Parliament. The FIR was registered on a complaint filed by one Pradeep Gawade.

In his petition, Sharjeel has claimed that he had no intention to insult any religion or any institution in the nation. "I only identified a problem in the social construct of this day and have concluded with a solution to that problem. In fact, if my speech is considered in totality, it appeals for a combat against hatred in the society without any ill-will or enmity against any religion, caste or community," the petition claims.

The plea accordingly, seeks quashing of the FIR and as an interim relief, protection from any coercive action against him.

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